Kansas Facing Another Year Of Teacher Shortages

Sep 13, 2017
Originally published on September 12, 2017 1:05 pm

Kansas continues to face a teacher shortage, with schools reporting 440 vacancies this school year.

Those empty jobs worry educators because they force schools into workarounds, such as larger class sizes or long-term substitutes. They can also reduce class offerings and lessen support for special-education students.

Janet Waugh represents Kansas City, Kansas on the State Board of Education. She calls the situation heart breaking.

"Are you kidding me?" Waugh asked. "90 elementary vacancies? 82 special education vacancies? And the list goes on and on. These kids are still coming to school, I'm assuming."

Last year a task force analyzed vacancies for the state board and found high-poverty urban school districts, like Kansas City and Wichita, especially struggle to fill jobs. Vacancies are also a problem for Garden City and other southwest Kansas districts.

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