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State Experiences Teacher Shortage Due to Low Pay

State Experiences Teacher Shortage Due to Low Pay

Districts all over South Dakota are experiencing a record number of vacancies for teaching positions as they struggle to entice teachers with the lowest pay in the nation.

According to educators throughout the state, schools are having an increasingly difficult time finding applicants for teaching positions- especially in the special education field, according to KSFY.

"Many state leaders say teacher pay is blame. The National Education Association says the annual teacher pay in South Dakota averages about $40,000, the lowest in the nation. The numbers get even lower for teachers just starting out in South Dakota," the article said.

Several teachers in the state told KSFY of the struggles of working long hours for minimally rewarding pay, and called working in the state as a "financial sacrifice" to either continue doing what they love or remain in the area.

Said second-year teacher Johannah Jensen to KSFY, "I was offered a job in Minnesota and they payed (sp) a lot more, but I decided to hold off and wait because I wanted to come home."

Jensen, according to the article, holds two jobs in the summer and is looking to keep one during the school year to make ends meet.

For Lee Glanzer, being a teacher in the state became financially impossible for providing for his family of three young children. He was forced to pick a different profession all together despite his love for teaching kids, and went into construction management instead, the article said.

As schools struggle to hire teachers for the upcoming school year, they may be forced to make adjustments in order to work with the staff they have.

Though a task force has been created to look into the state's education system and raising teacher pay, lawmakers in the state failed to make a change in the past legislative session.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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