RE#11 faces historic teacher shortage crisis; The quality of education compromised

Charleston, IL-(Radio Effingham)- Regional Office of Education #11 is calling on community collaborators to determine how to address a persistent and growing problem throughout the region and in Illinois as a whole: the shortage of qualified educators to teach children in its districts. school.

“The problem is critical and has only gotten worse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Kyle Thompson, Regional Superintendent of Schools. “The Association of Regional Superintendents of Illinois Schools (IARSS) conducts an annual statewide survey in each county,” it reports. “He asks detailed questions of local school district superintendents and the findings of our school districts are what we have known and feared for some time.”

Thompson reports the following results from local school districts that responded to the IARSS survey last fall:

  • 94% say we have a teacher shortage problem
  • 100% say we have a shortage of substitute teachers
  • 35% say COVID-19 has increased teacher turnover
  • 24% of advertised teaching positions have not been filled or have been filled by a less than qualified hire
  • 88% say logistical issues have led to an increase in the number of educators employed due to the pandemic
  • 82% say budget shortfalls have led to an increase in the number of educators employed due to the pandemic
  • 94% say the problem of teacher shortage is getting worse
  • 94% say they are concerned about future teacher shortages
  • 29 courses were canceled and 14 converted online due to shortages
  • 24% reported an issue with director shortages, but 38% said they are concerned about future director shortages
  • 94% say shortage of substitute teachers is getting worse
  • 88% are worried about future shortages of substitutes

The 2021 IARSS Illinois Educator Shortage Survey reflects months of collaboration between partners Goshen Education Consulting and Illinois State University. This is the fifth year of consecutive surveys that ask detailed questions about the scale and scope of Illinois’ continuing teacher shortage and compile responses from more than 660 school districts statewide. .

Results from the last two years of surveys indicate that a number of educators have retired prematurely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This decrease has exacerbated the shortage of educators in the state, creating a void in the number of qualified teachers entering the educator job market both years.

“Without qualified and properly trained teachers, the quality of education we provide in RE #11 is at risk,” says Thompson. “I and other education administrators in our region will reach out to our local elected officials, civic and community leaders, state education officials, colleges and universities to see how we can collaborate and find opportunities. answers to these issues so that current and future educators can feel safe and successful in their profession.We want to ensure that our students receive the education they rightly deserve in public schools.

The president of the IARSS agrees. “Our schools need help, now more than ever,” says Mark Klaisner, director of West40 ISC in West Chicago. “Over five years of study, we have shown how schools struggle to find qualified teachers and are under enormous stress to provide the best possible education while being understaffed and overwhelmed. COVID-19 has only compounded these challenges. Klaisner is optimistic despite the negative survey results when it comes to determining where the teaching profession needs to go in the future. “We hope these new findings underscore the urgency we all feel to find more dedicated educators who see the wonderful value in helping our children learn and grow and to tackle this difficult, multi-faceted issue with renewed focus and passion,” he said. said.

For more information on the 2021 IARSS Illinois Educator Shortage Survey, go to https://iarss.org/2021-shortage of educators/.

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