ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — There is a shortage of teachers in central Pennsylvania and we are told it boils down to the lack of college students going for a degree in education.
Dr. Charles Prijatelj, Superintendent of the Altoona School District said, “All of the public schools in the state of Pennsylvania are dealing with a teacher shortage.” “We are doing everything we can to advertise seek candidates for positions at all levels and in all areas.”
In Altoona the district is specifically hunting for math, science, social studies and English teachers.
They said are also desperately looking for substitute teachers as soon as possible.
Dr. Charles Prijatelj said, “We’re more than willing to welcome them on his substitute teachers for the last month of school.”
Educators agree on two main reasons for the shortage, a large number of seasoned teachers retiring and there’s been a steady decline of interest in an education degree over the last 10 years.
Dr. Charles Prijatelj said, “In 2010 we were graduating in the neighborhood of 27,000 teachers a year we are now below 12,000 teachers year.”
You’ll find a similar story at Tussey Mountain School District in Bedford County.
Superintendent Jerry Shoemake said the decline in teacher certification also has to do with the decrease of funding across the state which he said led to thousands of teachers being furloughed across the commonwealth in years past.
Shoemaker said, “I think it turn some people off. In their thoughts of following a teaching career.”
“You have fewer people that are coming into programs fewer people that are coming out of programs and therefore you have fewer people who are available to hire but our names remain the same.”