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Eye On Boise

Teacher shortage widespread in Idaho

Idaho’s teacher shortage is widespread, and it’s unlikely to go away any time soon, Idaho Education News reports. Some school districts have left jobs vacant this fall, for lack of qualified applicants. Others are plugging vacancies with uncertified teachers; in eastern Idaho, about a fifth of the West Jefferson School District’s faculty is on the job while pursuing alternative routes to certification.

Idaho districts report having an especially hard time finding and keeping math, science and special education teachers, but problems have cropped up in all subject areas, writes EdNews reporter Kevin Richert. Meridian’s Compass Public Charter School scrambled this year, he reports, hiring three teachers through alternative routes, but it couldn’t fill a fourth position, forcing the school to drop a dual-credit class, even after students had signed up for it. “That was a bummer,” school administrator Kelly Trudeau said. You can read Richert’s full report here.

Pay increases through the new state career ladder have been of some help, he reports, but school officials say a scent of “toxicity” lingers – from a time when teachers felt they were treated as the enemy. Madison School District Superintendent Geoffrey Thomas told EdNews, “We’re not that far removed from the Luna years. You don’t always see the effect immediately.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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