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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Supply of IN Teachers Not Keeping Up with Demand

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Monday, April 3, 2023   

The number of educators in Indiana is dwindling, which means thousands of students every day, for at least some part of their school day, do not have a permanent teacher.

Keith Gambill, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, said there are currently more than 1,500 unfilled teaching positions across the state, and he is concerned they will be harder to fill because many people are choosing not to enter the field.

The most recent national survey found the number of bachelor's degrees in education is down 22% in the last decade. In Indiana, Gambill also blamed legislators for what he describes as demeaning the profession.

"You have the constant drumbeat of legislators who are doing nothing but tearing down educators and education on a regular basis in the media, along with the conditions that they have made through lack of properly funding our schools," Gambill contended. "That, over time, has taken its toll."

Gambill pointed out some people hesitate to take on costly student loans for teaching degrees, knowing starting salaries for Indiana teachers are low. According to the National Education Association, Indiana teachers made, on average, just over $53,000 a year in the 2020-to-2021 school year, ranking 41st for teacher pay compared to other states.

Gambill emphasized school safety is ever-present in educators' minds and arming themselves on school grounds against an internal or external security threat is an uncomfortable reality. He knows concerns exist about having firearm training as part of a job qualification, which could also be steering potential educators away from classrooms.

"We are against any mandating that someone has to agree to that," Gambill explained. "Even just the thought that they might even just be asked turns some people away."

Gambill added the idea of having more weapons on campus, and having them more accessible, is disconcerting to many faculty members, who worry something could happen, and the wrong person could get access to a weapon.


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