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Teacher burnout is real, and it's leading to a shortage of educators in some areas

Some areas of the country are dealing with a shortage of teachers [shutterstock / miya227]
Some areas of the country are dealing with a shortage of teachers [shutterstock / miya227]

Supplies have been purchased, lunches are packed, for some, uniforms are donned.

This time of year students across the country are heading back into the classroom. But uncertainly remains for some as to whether those classrooms will have teachers leading their students.

Many news outlets this summer have reported that America is dealing with a nationwide teacher shortage.

We've heard for the last two years of the uncertainty, illness, and disruption that has occurred in the classroom due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But also, increasing partisan politics seeping into our education system is taking a toll --- the threat of school shootings, and active shooter drills, low pay, even no air conditioning -- all cited as reasons for teacher burnout.

In June 2022, U.S. Department of Education survey found that the average American public school reported having 3.4 open teaching positions.

That same study found that 62 percent of all public schools surveyed reported an inability to fill vacant positions with qualified applicants.

There are critics of this however, saying the staffing troubles are isolated to certain areas, like rural communities. And specific disciplines, like math and science, are the subjects facing the shortages.

For most of the on the program, we'll look at what folks are calling America's teacher shortage from a local angle.

The Fund For Our Economic Future has a report looking at what workers are quitting, why they’re leaving, and where they’re going to.

Our Education Reporter Conor Morris will be with us the hour, not only talking about staff shortages, but also a variety of other education issues he’s covering across the region.

- Bethia Burke, President, The Fund For Our Economic Future
- Connor Morris, Education Reporter, Ideastream Public Media

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.