Headline RoundupAugust 17th, 2022

Teacher Shortages Loom Nationwide as New School Year Starts

Summary from the AllSides News Team

School districts around the country are struggling to hire and retain teachers for the new school year.

Schools have resorted to a range of tactics to resolve staffing issues, including experimenting with four-day school weeks and filling teaching roles with retired police officers, veterans, college students and remote virtual teachers. The National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers’ union, estimated there were roughly 300,000 vacancies for teachers and school staff nationwide.

Outlets across the spectrum covered the ongoing teacher shortage in the months leading up to the start of the 2022-23 school year. In August, however, coverage was most concentrated in center-rated outlets and local outlets. Coverage across the spectrum pointed to low teacher pay, “culture war” debates, the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing industry trends as reasons for the shortages.

Some coverage in right-rated outlets in August focused on a plan by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to hire first responders as teachers, and some outlets like Washington Examiner (Lean Right bias) featured opinions blaming teachers’ unions for the shortage. Some coverage from the left focused on teacher pay and quoted teachers' unions. While a Politico (Lean Left bias) newsletter said the shortage was “really bad,” a CNN (Left bias) analysis highlighted a professor who said the word “shortage” didn’t capture the complexity of the issue, since different districts face different local problems. 

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