Report shows that 9 out of 10 Minnesota school districts are experiencing teacher shortages
(ABC 6 News) – With Governor Walz releasing his budget plan Tuesday, the president of Education Minnesota says this report couldn’t come at better time but it’s not all good news.
“The information in the report unfortunately isn’t anything new and it’s something at we are hearing all across the state,” said Education Minnesota President Denise Specht.
According to the state report teacher shortages now affect nine out of ten school districts in the state. 84 percent of districts say they were significantly affected by the teacher shortage, that’s compared to 70 percent in 2021.
“And this isn’t good for students,” said Specht.
According to Specht with Education Minnesota says fewer teachers means less help and larger class sizes for students.
Also, according to the report one in four Minnesotans with a teaching license is not using it and a third of new teachers are leaving the profession in the first five years.
“Just in general finances, money, pay etc. But, then we have to look at just the unsustainable system people are working in weather it’s workload, caseloads mandates,” said Specht.
Justin Blom is a 5th grade teacher in Byron. He says he knew there’s been a shortage but was shocked by how much.
“We’re not experiencing that right now. We have enough teachers so that was pretty shocking to hear that a lot of districts were having that issue,” said Blom
Byron has done a great job at setting teachers up for success according to Blom and that’s why he’s stayed.
“If I have the assistance and the resources available to those students what they need the most I can then give all of my students, the best of me,” said Blom.
Both Specht and Blom hope that the state’s investment in education will increase funding for teacher salaries and resources and in turn keep more teachers in teaching and attract more people into the profession.
“If we want them to stick around, we need to figure out ways to keep them around,” said Blom.
In the budget plan laid by Gov. Walz Tuesday, it called for a 4 percent increase in school funding next year and 2 percent the following years to keep up with inflation. As well as cutting the special education cross subsidy by 50 percent.