Competition Fierce for Teachers as Upper Darby Holds on

Students from Upper Darby High School leaving campus
Image via Kimberly Paynter, WHYY
Students from Upper Darby High School leaving campus

Upper Darby School District Superintendent Dan McGarry Is still hiring teachers two weeks after school started, writes Aubri Juhasz for WHYY.

The vacancy list numbers at 70, though candidates have been recommended for 40 of those positions.

That’s still not a guarantee.

 “I tell my team, ‘Until they’re actually in the classroom, it’s not filled,’” McGarry said.

School districts are now fiercely competing for teachers, bus drivers, nurses, and paraprofessionals.

School districts in lower-income communities have the hardest time with the teacher shortage because they are already challenged to hire and retain teachers.  

“When supply diminishes, now there’s fierce recruitment battles. They’re gonna lose out,” said Ed Fuller, Penn State associate professor of education.

In other words, those districts that can offer more are going to end up in a better place finding teachers.

Upper Darby has 12,400 students and 60% are considered low-income.

One Upper Darby option, sending students to community college for classes, was dropped when teachers agreed to teach additional classes, McGarry said.

But if the extra workload leads to burnout and sick teachers, that could force McGarry to close a school. Forty high school or middle school teacher absences would be the tipping point, he said.

Read more at WHYY about the ongoing teacher shortage crisis.

This MSNBC August 2022 report looks at the ongoing teacher shortages across the nation.

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