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SA teacher shortage attributed to overworked, underappreciated teachers

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Students at Jackson Middle School sit in desks facing away learning math as a teacher gives a lesson on a projector. A math specialist observes to the right.
Camille Phillips
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Jackson Middle School Principal Erin Deason was able to find a teacher for this math class just before school started this year. A math specialist also observes and assists at times. Her position was paid for through federal COVID relief funding, but overall the campus now has one fewer teacher position than it did before the pandemic.

Compared to last year’s departures, 2022 saw teachers leave their profession at a rate 56% higher than the previous summer. Experts believe that the problems teachers face were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Low pay, school shootings and culture wars have always been present, but in recent years these issues have intensified.

What other reasons have teachers cited for leaving the profession? Have there been any efforts to build back the trust between teachers and administrators? How are local and state governments responding? Are there plans in place to repair the shortage? Has this affected the instruction for students?

Guest: Camille Phillips, Texas Public Radio education reporter

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet@TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, December 7.

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