State facing teacher shortage

Illinois is still facing a teacher shortage.

Jeff Vose, president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, said there are two issues. School districts are scrambling to plug the last few holes in their classroom for the coming school year, while facing the prospect of baby boomers’ ongoing retirements.

Vose’s group surveyed schools last year and found that 60 percent of schools had trouble finding teachers, and 76 percent had trouble finding qualified applicants.

“(We need) special-education teachers,” Vose said. “I know there are several districts trying to get English teachers.”

Vose said math and science teachers are always in demand, but beyond immediate needs, Vose said there’s an even larger shortage brewing.

“As more baby boomers retire in the next several years, we’re going to have an even more challenging (task) of getting teachers into the classroom,” Vose said.

One reason for the teacher shortage: too few students are able to pass Illinois’ basic skills test for educators.

The Illinois State Board of Education said just 30 percent of students who took the basic-skills test from January through March managed to pass.

–Illinois News Network

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