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Opinion
Andrea Gabor

Teacher Shortages Will Linger When the Pandemic Wanes

Schools won't be able to recover unless districts reverse falling pay and take steps to cure an epidemic of shrinking morale.

Worthy of respect.

Worthy of respect.

Photographer: Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Covid-19 keeps battering schools, with staff shortages aggravated by the omicron variant the latest obstacle to returning to pre-pandemic normal. And while the virus will wane, the shortages will continue to threaten school quality and stability unless districts take action to shore up their teacher ranks.

Teacher shortages are chronic in some districts, and getting worse. More than half the principals surveyed by the EdWeek Research Center who said they closed schools during the latest Covid wave did so because they didn’t have enough staff. The number of education job openings overall surged by nearly 75% this fall compared to the same period last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.