Facing teacher shortages, Virginia legislators propose ideas to bring up pay, lighten workloads
As Virginia continues to struggle with teacher shortages, lawmakers have proposed a range of bills that aim to address low job satisfaction among public school teachers.
The state’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission recently found that 10,900 teachers left the workforce ahead of the current school year, while only 7,208 teachers with first-time licenses were hired.
“This is a problem that has been decades in the making, but the pressure of the past few years has simply pushed this out into the open,” said James Fedderman, president of the Virginia Education Association, during a press conference last week. “To be blunt, low pay in Virginia is contributing to teacher and other staff shortages. The impact of staffing shortages on the day-to-day operation of a school is almost impossible to understate.”
More than 15% of Virginia teachers told JLARC they are “definitely leaving” or “likely to leave” their job in public education by the end of the 2022–23 school year, compared to only 9% in a 2019 survey by the Virginia Department of Education.
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