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Area Education Leaders Chime In on Teacher Shortage Conversation

MT. VERNON – A report released Monday from the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents shows 77% of the school districts responding to the 2020 survey say they have a teacher shortage problem.

Education leaders like Ron Daniels with the Regional Office of Education #13 says the reasons for the teacher shortage are numerous and complex. However, he says it boils down to there are more veteran teachers around the state retiring or leaving the profession, than new teachers coming out of university schools of education.

ROE #13 serves Clinton, Jefferson, Marion, and Washington counties.

Ryan Swan is the Assistant Superintendent for Mt. Vernon City Schools. He says the report is sadly no surprise to those who work every day to support and prepare future teachers. Swan says District 80 has altered their hiring process by hiring earlier and more often when they find a good fit for the district.

The minimum wage for a public school teacher in Illinois is $34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year and is scheduled to increase under state law to $40,000 by the 2023-2024 school year. An analysis of the survey results showed a strong correlation between the severity of the shortage and the average teacher salary in a given district.