CAPITAL REGION (WRGB) — School districts across the capital region need staff as the school year kicks off.
According to the National Education Association, roughly 30% of members have left the teaching field early due to the pandemic.
"We are working fast and furiously to get our classrooms filled," said Kaweeda G. Adams the Superintendent of the Albany School District.
Officials with the WSWHE BOCES district say they've seen a decline in people entering the education field for several years and COVID-19 only worsened the problem.
"Due to the pandemic, they may have their own responsibilities either for childcare at home, or taking care of someone at home, or have their own health concerns," adds Dr. Turina Parker, Assistant Superintendent of Educational and Support Programs for the WSWHE BOCES district.
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Albany School District officials say they're looking for all types of teaching positions to fill.
"In some of our high-need areas where we would typically see challenges in hiring, we're still seeing that. For example, in our math and sciences we're still seeing some of those challenges," said Adams. "We also have support positions that we're looking at as well."
According to BOCES, a teacher shortage will make it difficult to get kids caught up after last year.
" More classes or smaller classes might result in a need for more teachers, more teaching assistants, more staff to be able to assist in the classroom." said Parker. "So, it again comes full circle right into that puzzle that we need more people."
According to Albany School's website, some teacher positions have a deadline of September 14, other faculty positions will be open until the position is filled.
BOCES adds incentives like higher wages, benefits, and on-site training are ways they hope to recruit and retain staff across the region.
BOCES say on average they have a substitute list of 1,200 staff across the region; this year they have just over 300 substitute teachers.
According to the Pittsfield Massachusetts School District website they are hiring for many positions as well. The district did not return our request for comment.