Mid-Michigan experiences teacher, staff shortage

Schools struggle to hire teachers
Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - With schools nationwide reporting a shortage of teachers and staff, local school leaders say it’s also problem right here in mid-Michigan.

“Years ago schools would not have had open positions this deep into the school year,” said Eaton RESA Deputy Superintendent Sean Williams.

Eaton RESA’s Deputy Superintendent says there’s so many vacant positions that they’re having to ask for other employees to step in and help fill the void.

“It’s really become a big issue for staffing,” said Williams. “We have a lot of folks covering classrooms, including principals. In our building alone we could use six more paraprofessionals.”

Lawrence says they’ve also been taking a hit from shortages. She and Williams say less people are going to school to become educators. Lawrence explains the district has tried to fix this issue by calling on their graduates for help.

“One of the ways we try to counteract this in the Lansing School District is to really encourage our high school students to think about going into teaching and to take advantage of the Lansing Promise Scholarship and to further their studies at any of our partner organizations so they can come back and become a teacher,” said Lawrence.

Williams says there was a time when he would receive 300 applicants for one job. Now, he says he’s lucky to get three.

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