The Impact of Statewide Teacher Shortage - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

The Impact of Statewide Teacher Shortage

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AVOYELLES PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- Many schools here in Cenla are starting the semester off the same way- in need of teachers. News Channel Five's Rachael Penton was in Avoyelles Parish where they are feeling the brunt of this statewide shortage.

Just a few days before the new school year began in Avoyelles Parish, three staff members at Bunkie High School- including the principal- left for opportunities in other parishes.

"There were a couple of instances where the day before school started and a teacher said I've got a job some where else. Are we taken aback by that? Certainly. And we question the loyalty to the students, but it happens" says superintendent Dwayne Lemoine.

In fact, it happens quite a bit. This year there were 13 openings in Avoyelles Parish as the new school year approached, and even more in other parishes. Something that superintendent Dwayne Lemoine says is normal in school systems throughout the state.

"There are shortages state-wide and we're all feeling the brunt of that," adds Lemoine.

And because of the number of openings, educators are able to shop around for jobs from parish to parish.

"As an employee you want what's the best for you and so I think they do. they may commit to one parish and if the other one in the long run gives them a better deal they pick up and leave and go where they feel comfortable or where they're getting the best deal," says Bunkie High School principal Amy Cole.

Lemoine says that the reasons teachers leave vary from person to person.

"Maybe they like the subject matter a little better, maybe they like the proximity to home," says Lemoine.

Although the teachers sign contracts, they're not officially binding- allowing teachers to leave even up to the last minute.

"If they really want to leave the district or come into the district we would hope that they're doing it for interests that hold the needs of students to a high standard."

Lemoine says that his school system is doing what others across the state are doing to cope with the shortage, and that is simply staying competitive.

"It's so competitive right now to get good, quality, highly effective teachers in our schools that we're competing since there is a teacher shortage," says Lemoine.

Superintendent Lemoine says that they have been able to fill some of those teacher vacancies since school began, but they are still looking to hire nine more teachers.

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