School districts in a Southern state and city are struggling to find enough teachers. In fact, they are leaning on a smaller pool of substitute teachers than ever before to temporarily fill those vacancies.
The regional independent school district teacher is saying often stays after school four days a week to tutor many students who are still reading on the kindergarten level or have not mastered second-grade math concepts.
In fact, that is after a full day of teaching her students. Those who each learn at different levels after almost a year and a half of virtual instruction and spotty attendance. Plus, she does, in fact, estimate that two-thirds of her students are really learning below grade level. It is more than previous school years.
Schools and Workload Demand
“Therefore, it is twice the workload, plus having to rethink how you approach everything,” Toland said. “Moreover, you can’t just pull out your laminated lesson plans from 10 years ago and then go to it. It’s not working like that.”
Also, teachers are then resigning or retiring. Plus leaving behind retention bonuses for health concerns or burnout. Also, districts have increased substitute pay rates to also attract more qualified candidates in San Antonio, Texas. However, many are retired teachers who do not want to substitute on campuses where students are not wearing masks.
The Corona Virus pandemic and the state’s chronic underfunding of public education have really created “the perfect storm” for school districts. Also, for years, teachers have asked for more support in the classroom, whether it is behavioral specialists, counselors, or social workers who can address student behavior and mental health issues. Or, really just higher pay. This is what Wanda Longoria, president of Northside’s ISD’s teacher union, has said.
Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds
However, now that districts have millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funds, they are, in fact, looking to fill those positions, only to really find they’re competing with other schools for the same specialists.
“Also, education has been neglected for the last couple of decades in Texas, and now we’re seeing the fallout,” Longoria said.