US schools are in a historically rare situation — flush with cash on the heels of hundreds of billions of federal stimulus dollars intended to help blunt the impacts of the pandemic. But is it enough? Although schools have the cash currently, there is still a shortage of teachers. And what happens once the money runs out? This article from Bloomberg discusses the challenges that schools are facing as a result of the pandemic.
Source: Bloomberg | Repost Fight for Life Foundation 8/25/2022 –
On Aug. 10, Hillsborough County Public Schools started the school year short 620 teachers — a more than threefold increase from last year when there were just 181 open positions.
Officials in the western Florida school district spent $26 million to hike teacher pay, and used federal stimulus funds for $2,000 bonuses for special education teachers. But it wasn’t enough to fill the void in the classrooms.
Hillsborough isn’t alone. School districts across the country are feeling even more pinched by a tight labor market. While the extra money and more aggressive recruiting efforts are helping in some places, others are facing even steeper teacher shortages than the previous year — causing class sizes to swell and threatening to stagnate student achievement.
“The problem with any of the Covid money is that it’s one-time,” said Jason Lane, dean of Miami University’s College of Education, Health, and Society. “It’s not clear how those initiatives will sustain themselves.”