Connecticut sees shortage of specialized teachers, placing burden on current teachers
A statewide staffing shortage is crippling school systems throughout Connecticut, leaving dozens of teacher positions open across the state.
Norwalk Public Schools says district-wide, it has about 26 certified staff vacancies right now and 15 of those are teacher openings.
Statewide, there is a shortage of specialized teachers in areas of technology, special education and language teachers.
According to the portal online at Tracey Magnet School, three spots need to be filled and all of them fall under the umbrella of special education.
The issue of teacher shortages is hitting schools all across the Fairfield County area.
The president of Bridgeport Education Association says a few weeks ago, the district was in need of 82 certified teachers.
Right now, educators say there's a shortage because pay isn't competitive, and the heavy workload placed on them.
One teacher from Dubar Elementary School in Bridgeport says with teachers resigning, classes are then divided into other classes. She worries about the day she might have to take off.
"I worry about that constantly, what happens in the case where I may be absent from my school? What's going to happen to my students? Are they going to be divided? Yes, they're going to be divided. What do we need to do to make sure that their day is educationally sound? We prepare three days of work ahead of time," said third-grade teacher Jerusha Wrighten-Kelly.
Educators say it's time the state and districts find new ways to attract teachers to ease the problem.
Educators say administrators are now becoming problem solvers to balance out these classrooms with the lack of teachers. They say enhancing salaries and adding incentives should be considered to ease the problem.