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Online Site Aimed At Reducing Teacher Shortfall

Share School Issues CenterPresident Bill Clinton announces a new online resource to help schools find qualified teachers and to help teachers find jobs.

On Saturday August 26, in an effort to help reduce the national teacher shortage, President Bill Clinton announced the creation of the National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse. The free online resource will help schools find qualified teachers and help teachers find jobs.


Highlights Of National Online Job Bank

The National Teacher Recruitment Clearinghouse, a free, online resource funded by the federal government, helps teachers find jobs and helps schools find qualified teachers.

The site offers teachers

* links to state job banks.

* state-by-state certification requirements.

* a national comparison of what school districts require and offer.

* information about incentives school districts offer to attract teachers.

The site offers school districts

* access to a national teaching pool.

* information about strategies for recruiting and retaining teachers.

"This fall, a record 53 million students will fill our classrooms," Clinton said in his weekly radio address to the nation. "Unfortunately, thousands of school districts are struggling to find enough teachers to fill them." As an example, he mentioned that Cleveland school administrators hired more than 200 teachers over the summer but need to hire another 400 before school starts.

"With a strong economy and such a tight labor market, it's hard to find so many qualified professionals," Clinton said. "The challenge is growing. Over the next decade, America will need to hire 2.2 million new teachers, both to handle rising enrollment and to replace those teachers set to retire."

After announcing the new online recruiting resource, Clinton urged Congress to pass his education budget of $2.75 billion. He said his education initiatives focus on recruiting, training, and hiring teachers, which will help reduce class size and improve teacher quality.



Gerald Tirozzi, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, applauded Clinton's efforts to publicize the national teacher shortage. "This shortage is real," he told Education World. "We've received a number of phone calls from state associations reporting that they've got quite a problem.

"Getting the president of the United States behind the issue gives it national exposure," Tirozzi pointed out. "However, the problem transcends posting openings on job banks. We need to make teaching like a real job, with more certification rigors and [higher] salaries."

The recruitment shortage isn't limited to teachers. School districts also have difficulty hiring quality principals, especially at the high school level. Although there are enough educators certified to become principals, Tirozzi said, most don't have the desire to do the job. Tirozzi cites long hours away from family and salary compression as the major reasons school districts have trouble filling those top leadership spots. In general, principals just don't make that much more money than teachers do, Tirozzi noted.



The creation of a national job bank and clearinghouse was one of U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley's goals in 1999. The new online site is funded by a $350,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

"At such a critical time, when so many districts face a shortfall in certified teachers, this free service may have a tremendous impact on the way school districts find quality teachers," Riley wrote in a statement released Sunday.

Note: Education World also offers an Education Employment Center, featuring listings of current job openings within the education market and a rsum bank of more than 2,000 educator rsums. Education professionals searching for jobs and administrators searching for qualified education professionals can receive notification of new listings by signing up for the free Education World Job Listings newsletter. Diane Weaver Dunne
Education World®
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