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Consider This: Recruiting and Retaining Teachers

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We’ve learned a lot over the past 18 months as we have dealt with the many challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic.

One thing that was reinforced, especially for parents, is the value and importance of teachers.

The state legislature and state leadership have been tossing out ideas to improve teacher pay for years. There have been a few successes, but overall, we still fall short.

Not only in teacher pay, but in teacher recruitment and retainment.

This week, Governor Reeves released a task force report calling for Mississippi leaders to take action to address the state’s teacher shortages and improve the state’s workforce and economic future. It’s about time.

The information released in the 50-page report is not surprising. It highlights that nearly one in five teachers in the United States —and up to 45% of teachers in the South— leave the field before completing their fifth year in the classroom.

Teachers cite poor working conditions, lack of support, overwhelming stress, and inadequate pay and benefits as the main factors for leaving the profession.

The report goes on to say it is crucial that the teacher shortage crisis is mitigated to give the next generation of Mississippi’s workforce a fighting chance.

Having qualified, motivated, inspirational teachers is critically important to our state. As the report states, teachers are the difference makers for students.

However, a teacher shortage crisis is not only an education issue, but also a workforce and economic crisis.

With this informative research, hopefully state leaders will use this action plan as a guide to address this critical issue. We encourage you educate yourself by reading the report, because we can all play a part in making our state better.

Here is a link to the report: CLICK HERE

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