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Teacher shortage: Districts see the trend ADVERTISEMENT

Teacher shortage: Districts see the trend

FINGER LAKES--If you think it's easy to fill a teacher position, just ask a local school administrator about their experiences.
In May 2017, the New York State School Board Association released their report concluding teacher shortages in New York are particularly acute in science, special education, foreign languages, mathematics and bilingual education and English instruction for students whose primary language is not English.
Locally, the challenge to fill teacher positions is a concern. Kelly Houck, superintendent for Dundee Central School, said Dundee has experienced difficulty in hiring regular teachers and also substitute teachers.
Houck said, "We have experienced difficulty with grade seven to 12 teachers for English, special education and technology. Speech teachers and or a speech pathologist continues to be an extremely difficult position to recruit and secure."
In Penn Yan, Superintendent Howard Dennis said his district has had difficulty in hiring foreign language teachers especially in French and special education. Dennis said Penn Yan has also struggled with both long term substitutes and part-time positions in special education and elementary education.
Kai D'Alleva, principal for Watkins Glen high school, said their district is facing the same challenge in hiring teachers. D'Alleva said science and math have been very difficult to hire. D'Alleva said they have realized shortages with both full-time and part-time teachers.
Chris Wood, superintendent for the Odessa-Montour School District said, "we have had challenges hiring full-time and part-time teachers in the past two to three years like many districts have." Wood said that science teachers have been especially difficult to hire.
Houck added the shortage of teachers exists because there are significantly fewer students enrolled in teacher prep programs or they are enrolled in programs that don't coincide with the current needs. The most needed positions are not unique to one district, or even one area--they are needed statewide and even nationally.
Dennis said, "The state is considering adjusting some certification ranges for teachers and that should help." Dennis also said, "Colleges that offer dual certifications help elementary education teachers have more options."

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