Teacher Shortage Pain at Upper Darby District Is a National Problem

Nicole Prendiville, a teacher, surrounded by students.
Image via Pete Bannan, Daily Times.
Bywood Elementary School teacher Nicole Prendiville and students wave goodbye to Cindy Marten, Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Education on a Monday visit.

Upper Darby School District is facing a looming teacher crisis, along with the rest of the country, writes Pete Bannan for the Daily Times.

The changed staffing availability is a paradigm shift from “what had been a rich labor market for educators to what now is arguably the number-one challenge impacting our profession,” said Dr. John Council, assistant superintendent of Personnel and Equity, speaking at a March school board committee meeting.

National trends show BA degrees in education have dropped by 19 percent in the past 10 years.

Enrollment in teaching programs has declined 60 percent since before the pandemic. State teaching certificates are down 65 percent.

The hardest positions to fill are special education teachers, then substitute teachers, secondary math, and secondary science teachers.

Now, even districts with high salaries are seeing shortages, said Amy Hoyle, Dean for the School of Education and Human Services at Neumann University.

Teachers are leaving because of stress, long hours, student behavior, mandates and inadequate pay.

To attract teachers, Upper Darby is expanding online recruiting, growing their own teachers from students, increasing teacher pay, expanding the use of alternative certifications. They are considering offering undergrad tuition in exchange for a 10-year teaching commitment.

Read more at the Daily Times about teacher shortages.

Join Our Community

Never miss a Delaware County story!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.