Sacramento School Districts Still Struggling With Teacher Shortages


Photo: AFP

Many school districts in the Sacramento area continue to struggle with an ongoing teacher shortage. 

The school year is nearly halfway complete, and school districts across the Sacramento region are still struggling to fill dozens of positions, both with permanent teachers and substitutes. Teacher shortages have exacerbated the already long list of challenges schools face as they remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Educators say it's due to a number of factors. One is the 2008 recession that saw significant layoffs in many districts. After 2008, the number of people seeking teaching degrees declined as the profession was seen as unstable. Another factor is the pandemic, which has led to more early retirements. Also, pay and health benefits are being chipped away to the point where teachers can't make ends meet. Districts are hiring more substitute teachers, but many frustrated parents complain that their children are falling behind because of the shortage.

“Sac City Unified has made a number of proposals to provide additional pay to address the serious teacher staff shortage that has resulted in a gap between student demand for Independent Study and available teachers, a shortage of substitute teachers, and the need to improve continuity of learning for students in short- and long-term independent study,” according to a statement from district spokesperson Al Goldberg. “The district has proposed to provide additional pay to teachers who perform extra duties to support students in long- and short-term independent study.”

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