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Staffing shortages will remain a challenge for schools as new year begins

A high school physiology teacher shows students how to create a clay model of the endocrine system
Photo by Allison Shelley for The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages
A high school physiology teacher shows students how to create a clay model of the endocrine system.

Many Central New York students are getting ready to return to the classroom and school officials getting ready to welcome back. That means focusing on school safety, learning loss, and more struggles brought on by the pandemic.

Schools across the country are balancing these new and existing challenges with an ongoing teacher shortagein a tight labor market. David Albert from the New York State School Boards Association said they are seeing vacancies in certain areas more than others.

“The two primary areas or particular positions where the re seems to be a shortage is in bus drivers. That seems to be the biggest issue. And then second would be teachers. But I would also caveat that the teacher shortage tends to be focused in particular areas such as science and technology, bilingual education, special education,” Albert said.

Syracuse City School District is one of the districts facing shortages. The school board approved monetary hiring incentives this summer in an attempt to recruit nurses and security guards in addition to teachers.

Despite the shortages, SCSD interim superintendent Anthony Davis said he is confident the district is prepared for the year to begin.

“We will be ready. I am excited that we’re down to approximately 70, 75 positions, classroom positions. There are other positions that we do still need to fill, but primarily we want to make sure classrooms are covered. So, I think we can get there in the next couple of weeks,” Davis said.

The first day of classes for Syracuse City School District is September 7.

Matt Fairfax is an undergraduate student studying Broadcast & Digital Journalism at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, expected to graduate in May 2023.