To the Editor:
I must add another explanation to the list of reasons for school staffing shortages (“No Bus Drivers, Custodians, or Subs. What’s Really Behind Schools’ Staffing Shortages?,” Sept. 20, 2021).
I am a retired federal scientist with more than nine years of volunteer science teaching in primary, secondary, and higher education. In my state at least, state certification requirements are a barrier to otherwise qualified candidate teachers. I recently attempted to enroll in a master’s of arts in teaching program in Oregon only to be rebuffed (no explanation given).
If states are truly serious about these staffing shortages, they will need to dig deeper than just superficial-level explanations—there is more to consider than just the current shortage the pandemic has created. Burnout, pay, and more issues that existed before the pandemic have an impact, too.
A version of this article appeared in the October 06, 2021 edition of Education Week as The Pandemic Isn’t the Only Reason For School Staffing Shortages