Education

Teacher shortage leaves Pittsboro students without instructor, parents worried

Posted October 6, 2015

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— A shortage of public school teachers across the Triangle has left one fifth grade classroom in Chatham County without a steady instructor, and many parents worried.

The first day at Perry Harrison Elementary in Pittsboro was six weeks ago, but there is still no teacher for Krista Millard's son.

"He really wants a teacher," she said.

Millard said her son's class has had at least five different substitutes since August. Along with subs, other teachers and the principal have stepped in to assist.

Millard, along with other parents, are worried their students are going to soon fall behind.

"They are being given worksheets and busy work instead of being in groups and being hands-on," said Leslie Matthews.

According to Chatham County officials, the school district is working to fill several vacancies, but they are having trouble finding qualified candidates.

"To have a qualified teacher is far more important than just having a warm body," said Lisa Carlin with Chatham County schools.

Many school districts across the state are dealing with similar shortages. Despite recent boosts, teacher pay in North Carolina is still among the lowest in the country. To attract more qualified candidates, Carlin says this school year Chatham County increased its supplemental pay for teachers.

"Our county commissioners and board recognize that it was a real retention tool," she said.

The board also suggested parents write to lawmakers to encourage long-term, state improvements for teachers. Parents have said they will, but they want a more immediate solution.

"We need the teacher here right now," Millard said.

10 Comments

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  • Sheep Farmer Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Mr. Hinkley: Re: Your response about lateral entry. I personally am not interested in teaching. Some folks, however, might be if NC did not require a concentration in education theory. A lateral entry license requires re-education, oftentimes required while teaching. The workload would deter a lot of people. How many other states require a degree in education in order to teach?

  • Roy Hinkley Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Jim Hugs tends to make inane comments. I suspect they think they are being funny, but you can simply ignore most of their posts as pointless drivel.

  • Chris Perry Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Maybe some of the money spent on admin should go to teachers. To many admins at school and in the home office. Also, get rid of positions like CRT. They get full pay as a teacher but do nothing in the classroom. Not saying more money may be needed, but waste needs to be cleaned up as well.

  • Mike Watson Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    your understanding of the japanese teaching system is not correct.

  • lolasandvik Oct 7, 2015

    It is not only this fifth grade class without a teacher at Perry Harrison, my son's fourth grade teacher is also absent. He has had no less than eight substitutes this year. I can do my best to challenge him at home but that is not enough to make up for months of little instruction.

    Our NCGA needs to get the message that the abysmal teacher pay has got to go. The NCGA spends quite a lot of time focused on how to get more jobs into NC, here is a newsflash for them: If NC wants to compete for future jobs and industries they need to seriously invest now in our schools. No company will be enticed to the state if their employees' children have to suffer these circumstances.

  • Jim Hugs Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    In Japan they let the kids teach themselves and there turning out ok.

  • Roy Hinkley Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread



    Folks without a degree in education can seek a lateral entry license. There is information available on the NCDPI website if you're interested.

  • Sheep Farmer Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    Actually, I think NC would not have a teacher shortage if NC did not require that a college-educated person have a degree in education, rather than the subject matter..such as math. Is this common sense? A person can have a doctorate but can't teach in the primary schools of NC if that doctorate is not in education.

  • Barry Smith Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    This is what you get when you put a majority that doesn't believe in public education in charge of said education. The teachers won't work for the pittance they are offering for the amount of work they have to do. Work that in years gone by would have fallen on the administration. Start putting more money into education(yes, more money) and less into tax breaks for those that don't need it. Prepare yourselves for the time that public education is no longer offered, they've already destroyed it the next step is to take it away. Keep voting right, right?

  • Dave Ferguson Oct 7, 2015
    user avatar

    I hope when it comes time to vote for state representatives that these parents vote for someone who's going to begin treating teachers like rock stars and start getting the pay up at least to the national average.