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Central Pa. school districts hope to fill vacant teaching positions as the new academic year approaches

Since 2013, the number of people seeking teaching certification has shrunk by more than 65%.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — In just a few weeks, schools will be back in session, but some districts are hoping to have enough teachers in the classroom. 

Just last month, the PA Department of Education unveiled a plan to recruit and retain teachers amid a nationwide shortage.

“In speaking with some of the superintendents and district administrators from local school districts, they’re finding the teacher shortage in areas such as special education, English as a second language teachers, and some of the secondary stem courses," said Chair of Teacher Education at Penn State Harrisburg, Dr. Jane Wilburne.

Since 2013, the number of people seeking teaching certification has shrunk by more than 65%. 

The need for teachers has only gotten worse since the start of the pandemic. “We need multiple entities involved in helping to meet this particular crisis," said Wilburne.

Kristina Jacoby with the Dover Area School District said they usually had to fill five positions every year, mainly due to teachers retiring. This year they had about 10 positions to fill.

“It always gives you angst when you get a resignation, or you can’t fill a position,  cause we’re all struggling," said Jacoby, the Director of Human Resources.

She noted they are hopeful that they will have enough teachers before the start of the school year. 

“We have been able to proactively post a lot of our positions, and we’ve been getting some solid candidates. Hopefully, we’ll be well staffed from a teacher perspective at the beginning of the school year," said Jacoby.

Jacoby also hopes that teaching will soon go back to what it was pre-pandemic. 

“As we all recover from what teaching was the past two years start a normal school year, I’m hoping teachers are able to go back to what they love to do," she said. 

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