Opinion Columns & Blogs

Could Kansas be facing a teacher shortage?

The Wichita Eagle

As more and more teachers retire (up 85 percent from four years ago), there is growing concern about having enough new teachers to replace them. Some colleges of education in Kansas report drops in the number of student teachers. Another concern is that unstable state funding and a hostile attitude toward educators by some lawmakers are leading more new graduates (and current teachers) to take jobs out of state. The number of Kansas certified teachers who left the state increased from 399 in the 2012 school year to 654 this past school year. The Independence, Mo., school district even has a billboard near Goddard advertising job openings. Also, fewer people are applying for current open teaching jobs in Kansas than normal, KWCH, Channel 12, reported, and the number of Kansans who applied for teaching licenses in Missouri doubled from 85 in 2011 to 160 in 2014. – Phillip Brownlee