Public schools staffing is on the brink of collapse
The public school system is hanging by a thread as staff are stressed, burned out and thinking of quitting more than ever before.
Why it matters: Staffing shortages are leading school districts to look for "bodies in a room to babysit kids" as last-ditch efforts to keep their doors open, one education researcher told Axios.
- In Kansas, an emergency declaration eliminated college credit hours as a requirement for substitute teachers.
Staffing shortages are made worse by a waning substitute teacher force, many of whom left the profession during the pandemic.
- "Substitute teaching is not a profession for the faint of heart," said Julia Kaufman, an education policy researcher at RAND Corporation.
- Plus, low pay, minimal benefits and the overall view of substitute teachers contribute to the sub shortages, Myrtle Washington, a veteran substitute teacher in D.C. Public Schools, said.
- "A lot of substitute teachers did not think it was worth it, risking their lives, in this city, for $15 an hour."
The big picture: Principals are stressed, too. "This has been one of the toughest years for educators ever," one principal said.
- "Regardless of how we categorized principals, about 75% to almost 90% of principals ... reported that they experienced frequent job-related stress," according to a RAND Corporation report out this week.
Between the lines: The stress levels among female principals and principals of color were especially stark.