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​Kansas Teacher Shortage Becoming Acute

The shortage of public school teachers in Kansas could be getting worse as the start of the school year approaches. Kansas schools have 470 open positions, about half of those for classroom teachers. Julie Wilson of the Kansas Education Employment Board says districts will be challenged to fill so many vacancies before school starts next month. Wilson said the problem is exacerbated by fewer college grads choosing to work in education. “Institutes of higher education are putting out fewer candidates so we have to figure out where that pipeline is going to come from to replace the numbers that are leaving.” Wilson said. Data reported earlier this month shows a 63 percent increase in teachers leaving Kansas. 3,700 have retired, left for jobs in other states or taken other jobs in other fields during the past year. Wilson says districts will have to develop alternative ways to recruit teachers and may be forced to hire substitutes to start the school year.

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