La. school leaders say the state needs an additional 2,500 teachers

La. school leaders say the state needs an additional 2,500 teachers
La. school leaders say the state needs an additional 2,500 teachers(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana’s teacher shortage is growing by the minute, and some are worried that it’s reached a breaking point.

“We’re certainly in a crisis I will tell you,” said Larry Carter, President of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

State Superintendent Cade Brumley told the House Education Committee Thursday, March 24, there are about 2,500 certified teacher vacancies across the state.

“In some cases, we’ve heard of even custodians sitting on classes,” said Carter.

Carter said part of the problem is the lack of pay compared to the Southern Regional Average and fewer graduates choosing to become teachers.

He said numbers continue to drop compared to a decade ago.

“I know of teachers who are even discouraging their own kids from going into the profession due to the issue we’ve mentioned earlier.”

So, what’s the solution?

Lawmakers are considering a bill that will allow retired teachers to get back in the classroom without any penalty to their pension.

Carter feels this will help, but he believes it’s only a band-aid to a bigger problem.

“I think it will not fill that gap that we need of 2500 teachers, but it’ll at least be a temporary solution, but certainly not a long-term solution,” said Carter.

Carter said they have to change the narrative around teaching so they can mold the next crop of educators.

“We have to figure out how to encourage young people to go into education and make it the profession we know it can be. A noble profession. One that most people who enter into education as a field of study they feel it was a calling to do so,” said Carter.

He said lawmakers have to get that pay closer to the Southern Regional Average if we want to retain talent and attract more teachers to the state.

Carter believes that will happen.

“I have a lot of trust and faith that Louisiana will get it right,” said Carter.

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