Mark klaisner, the president of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, suggested the short-term fixes for long-term solutions. The shortage of teachers in Illinois is worse at the moment and the situation is getting more worse with the passage of time.
The IARSS’s survey released in March revealed that 85 percent of the state districts had faced major or minor issues related to the hiring of teachers. The percentage was 78% the year before. Klaisner said that he expected the figures to be more than 90%. The central and southern Illinois faced serious issues. 89% of the central Illinois school districts said that they faced staffing problems a year ago. 92% of the southern Illinois school districts faced the issues of staffing teachers in the same year.
Some administrators in southern Illinois told Klainser that they would close up the shop entirely and bus the students to the adjoining districts. Klaisner considered it a serious crisis. The survey found that 60% of the districts statewide faced a serious issue of substituting teacher shortage. 20 percent of the open positions either remained open or filled by the unqualified teachers in the past year, according to the survey.
The survey reported that 225 classes were canceled in the last year due to the lack of qualified staff or unfilled spaces. 1400 teaching positions remained unfilled, according to the survey. Tens of hundreds of students were affected due to the lack of staff. Klaisner said, “I know some of that’s overly dramatic, but it makes the point that kids are not getting what they need.”
Klaisner said that the salaries of the teachers are the main reason behind the issue of the teacher shortage in Illinois. He said, “I think the big factor right now is salaries. The teachers downstate are being crushed because they cannot compete with urban salaries.” Klaisner said that the solution of the issue was to ease the restrictions on the retired teachers to come back and fill the gap.