Central Illinois Teachers gather to discuss nationwide teacher shortages

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA)–The pandemic has made the last school year difficult for many students, not only because many had to adjust to remote learning, but also because there’s a shortage in teachers.

Educators in Central Illinois came together to talk about how that trend affects communities. Right now there are more than 1700 teacher vacancies in the state, and districts are struggling to fill those positions for a number of reasons.

One of those reasons is because they’re not only competing with other districts to hire, but they’re also competing with businesses paying a higher salary.

“Businesses will take a bachelor’s degree, and train them to work for a lot more money than what they’d make in teaching,” Macon-Piatt’s Regional Superintendent Matt Snyder said. “We’ve fought that for a long long time.”

They also stressed the importance of diversifying the population of teachers, and filling other vacancies affecting schools, including more nurses, counselors and other mental health professionals.

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