Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

CT Educators Stretched Thin in Teacher Shortage

Play

Wednesday, August 24, 2022   

A new report confirms Connecticut isn't the only state where school districts are scrambling to cover a shortage of teachers and other school professionals.

The American Federation of Teachers report "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow?" says even before the pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession.

In the New Haven School District, Leslie Blatteau, president of the local AFT chapter, said the ongoing cycle of teachers needing to cover those vacancies had led to faster burnout and sagging morale. She predicted that the upcoming school year won't be easy on educators.

"Most likely in some schools, it's going to be some of my colleagues stepping up and working to provide the coverage," she said. "We're going to push for compensation for those teachers who are giving that extra time, because we want to send a message that teachers' time is important, and there is a fixed amount of hours in the day."

Blatteau said teachers' planning periods often are the first thing eliminated in staffing shortages, leaving them less time to handle their responsibilities. According to the Connecticut Department of Education, there are current statewide shortages of certified educators in eight key areas -- from math, science and languages to school psychologists.

The AFT report made recommendations to remedy the shortages, including improving the teacher-to-school-staff pipeline. It also suggested better funding for teacher preparation and professional development, and encouraging partnerships between school districts and teacher colleges.

Blatteau said she feels the issue isn't only about getting more teachers hired - but retaining them from year to year.

"We need to make sure that people who are choosing to become teachers, especially in our urban districts, are getting all of the support and that obstacles are being removed," she said. "Because we want to send a clear message to them - we need you, we want to partner with you and we believe you are important, so we're going to do the things that it takes to keep you in the profession."

At the end of the last school year, all full-time New Haven school employees received a $1,000 retention bonus, which the district said will be made available again in January. Blatteau said the money is appreciated, but thinks more intentional investment would be more helpful in the long run.

Disclosure: American Federation of Teachers contributes to our fund for reporting on Education, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

Methane released into the atmosphere is responsible for at least 25% of current global warming, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. (permianmap.org)

Environment

Ahead of revised methane regulations expected from the federal government, a new study shows that gas flaring in oil-producing states such as Texas …

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021