Idaho’s Teacher Shortage
Idaho teachers continue to go to school every day despite the challenging conditions during the pandemic. Education continues to be a priority for Governor Little and local school districts. Low salaries and a continued lack of funding have caused the continued exodus of teachers from the Gem State.
US News and World Reports say that one Idaho school district, Filer, had to shut down because of a lack of teachers. Governor Little aspired to be the 'educational governor' before the Covid crisis. Another school district is looking for teachers to populate classrooms. The state has tried to help educators by easing the requirement for teacher certifications in selected school districts.
Governor Little Moves In
Governor Little recently allocated 10 million dollars to help districts find substitute teachers. He shared his reasons why the additional money is need in a release.
"My priority throughout the pandemic has been to ensure in-person instruction for our students and minimize disruptions to learning as much as possible. The availability of substitute teachers to step in when needed is critical to ensuring our students have the best chance at success," Governor Little said.
Governor Little also announced he would provide State of Idaho executive branch agency employees a new benefit – paid time off to serve as a substitute teacher. That means state employees will not have to tap into their vacation or sick leave to serve their communities as a substitute teacher.
Idaho Substitute Teacher Requirements
Interested individuals must meet all the school districts' requirements to be hired as substitute teacher, and they must pass all screening processes to ensure the safety of school children.
"A key component to keeping schools open for in-person instruction is having the necessary staff," Twin Falls School District Superintendent Brady Dickinson said. "Substitute teachers and other support staff play an important role in this, and I am very thankful for the Governor's action today as it will provide additional support to schools as we work to provide the very best educational experience to students during these challenging times."
An Educator Says Goodbye
One teacher told KTVB he's done with teaching. Mike Tetrault told channel seven that it all began when President Bush passed the 'No Child Left Behind legislation. The bill directed teachers to focus students on test results as opposed to discussions. Test results were linked to funding and an educator's performance.
Like most of us, Mr. Tetrault mentioned the lack of funding as another reason for leaving the profession.