Back to School: Teacher shortage being felt in Twin Falls and throughout the Magic Valley

The Twin Falls School District needs five more teachers by the first day of school next week.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 4:16 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Like many school districts around the United States Twin Falls is also facing a teacher shortage.

However, this shortage is due to the high number of teachers retiring or moving on over the past few years, leaving plenty of openings for the limited number of applicants in this area.

“The shortage has been brewing. If you look back, the age of our teachers has been getting older, and we knew a day was coming when you have a large number of people are going to retire and many of our baby boomers are reaching that retirement age and we don’t have the pipeline to back fill,” Twin Falls School District Superintendent Dr. Brady Dickinson said.

This lack of a pipeline affects more than just Twin Falls district, but Region IV as a whole, which includes all Magic Valley school districts.

With an already limited number of applicants and less people entering the field, it makes it even more difficult to attract educators to the area.

“Region IV is kind of unique because we don’t have a university that’s necessarily connected to Twin Falls,” Dickinson said. “We’re kind of on an island and so all of the districts in Region IV, or the Magic Valley, struggle because there aren’t as many applicants available in this area.”

Thankfully, the Twin Falls School District has managed to cut their openings down to just five prior to next weeks first day of school. This number is an improvement over last year’s dozen-plus openings at this time.

If the positions are not filled in time, changes to class sizes would be the most likely fix.

“Most of it (openings) is at the elementary level. We are still looking for one teacher at the high school level. But I am feeling pretty confident that will be filled by the first day next week,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson’s confidence about filling the positions is a good sign for the Twin Falls School District, but even if the positions are unfilled there are plans in place to deal with almost every situation that may arise.