Interim committee addresses Kentucky’s teacher shortage

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Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:11 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky needs to think of innovative ways to get more teachers into the least, that is what education leaders told lawmakers in an interim committee Tuesday.

That is a process that could even start while potential teachers are still in high school.

The director of the Association of School Superintendents told lawmakers in an interim joint education committee Monday that the problem needs immediate attention. That comes as super intendents are dealing with shortages even after the school year has started.

Dr. Jim Flynn told the lawmakers that more needs to be done to get teachers interested in the profession. After talking to superintendents, he said about half still had certified vacancies. Flynn also said that Tennessee is using a paid apprenticeship program.

“Over half the superintendents I talked to had certified vacancies,” Flynn said. “Right now. School is already in session.”

“They have seen some really good results of that at tracking people to the profession,” Flynn said. “They have opportunities to learn and earn if you will, as they are preparing to be a classroom teacher.”

Flynn also said this problem was only made worse during the pandemic and it hasn’t improved since.

One part of the shortage, he said, is that studies have shown that teachers have lost ground in pay and benefits with others who teach in similar professions.