Teachers brace for tense, stressful 2021
A perfect storm of quarantines, layoffs, retirements and resignations has public schools scrambling to get enough bodies to keep school afloat next semester.
Why it matters: Districts are desperate to keep classes going and are stretched thin by the sometimes competing needs of in-person and distance learning.
- Public-school employment in November was down 8.7% from February, and at its lowest level since 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some schools are even considering allowing COVID-positive, asymptomatic teachers to continue working, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- Many are also aggressively recruiting substitute teachers, offering bonuses and waiving certification requirements, per AP.
Between the lines: Many states still haven't figured out where educators and school personnel should fit in the priority list for COVID vaccines.
In Washington, D.C.: A union agreement says teachers may be required to return to classrooms unless they have medical exemptions.
- In Indiana and Connecticut, college students are answering the call to substitute teach and could be paid to help supervise classrooms.
The bottom line: The nationwide teacher shortage has left nothing but teachers with burnout, frustrated parents and even a lower education quality.
Go deeper: America's teachers are running on empty