It isn’t just Christina School District. The entire state of Delaware is facing a teacher shortage with schools starting as soon as tomorrow in some districts. Based on visits to school districts, DSEA President Mike Matthews said Delaware is short anywhere from 150 to 200 teachers.
As President of DSEA, Matthews attends new teacher hire orientations. According to a Facebook post he put up this morning, Matthews said many veteran teachers are switching to new districts. For these teachers, it means they lose their seniority. He also observed many new hires are not new teachers freshly out of college but those from other districts. Matthews said he has not been to all the orientations so that number could be bigger. And that does not include charter schools.
This will cause many issues in affected districts. Classroom size is always a concern. One district, according to an anonymous source, indicated a school is making all their special education teachers become general education teachers. Aside from this seriously smacking of a violation of state and federal special education laws, these special education teachers could be replaced by new special education teachers and told to remain in the general education classroom. This will create a firestorm with the existing special education teachers. But more importantly, no student with a disability should be denied services for any reason. These are potential special education lawsuits in the making.
Matthews wondered why some districts aren’t having exit interviews to determine why teachers are leaving. Without a baseline of reasons for why teachers are deciding to work elsewhere, how can a district change the situation?
There are a multitude of reasons Delaware is facing a teacher shortage. Conditions in a school district with administrators (think Christina) is a big factor but some teachers just want to get out of high needs schools. Many states around the country are dealing with the same issues. While corporate education reformers have been pounding on teacher unions for the past two decades, the bad education policies they have brought forth are making the situation worse. Lost in all the think-tank talk is how school “reform” affects students when it is happening in real-time.
If you know of shortages in your school building, please contact me either through Facebook messenger or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise confidentiality is a must! Whether you work for a district or charter school!