National Survey: School staffing difficulties persist

Anecdotes about schools struggling to fill open positions have been pervasive throughout the start of the school year. Recent federal survey data confirm those observations.

The School Pulse Panel is a poll with a national sample of public elementary, middle, high, and combined-grade schools about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the responding public schools, a whopping 53% feel they are understaffed. The most understaffed positions according to the respondents are special education teachers at 65%, and transportation staff at 59%.

The overall theme was that teaching roles were hard to fill in general but certain subjects even more so. Respondents said that science, math and foreign language positions were the hardest to fill. Survey participants were asked to weigh in on what they felt was the specific cause of their difficulty filling positions. 69% said that they simply receive too few applicants for the open positions they have. 64% said that too many of the applicants that they do receive are unqualified.

Other findings:

  • A little over 30% of the respondents said job candidates felt salary and benefits were not great enough.
  • Schools also reported difficulty finding custodial staff.
  • The vast majority of respondents reported more difficulty filling non-teaching staff positions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the full report and data here. (Institute of Education Sciences)


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