BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Superintendents from school districts across the Capital region are reporting shortages in substitute teachers, a problem many are blaming on the Covid-19 Pandemic.
The districts report many of the retired teachers who would typically fill in decided to sit this school year out, citing health and safety concerns.
In East Baton Rouge Parish, EBR Schools is holding a virtual meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9th at 10 am to try and recruit more educators to fill in when needed. The district, like many others is experiencing a shortage.
That’s an obligation Taylor says has been more difficult over the past year. Her teachers at Caneview in West Baton Rouge Parish are being asked to do more than they’ve ever had to do in the classroom before.
Kelly Education, a national agency that contracts with district such as Iberville Parish and Ascension Parish Schools to provide substitute teachers, is also reporting a shortage. They too are seeking more educators to sign up to help fill the needs in each classroom.
While districts are trying to fill those positions, many teachers are having to take on an additional load of students to prevent any children from falling behind. Caneview K-8 principal Laree Taylor said in many instances her teachers either have to work during their free period or absorb students from other classes when a teacher is out.
“I don’t necessarily worry the kids aren’t going to get what they need,” Taylor said. “I worry about the extra stress it puts on the teachers because they’ve been asked, we’ve asked so much of them through the pandemic that asking them one more thing of them seems a bit much some days.”
Taylor said this is just another issue teachers have to overcome as the pandemic continues.
“Just add it to the list. It’s one more of those things we have to deal with as it comes our way,” she said.
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