Statewide teacher shortage affecting southern Idaho

Craner says now is the time to apply if you’re thinking about going into education
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 5:18 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SOUTHERN IDAHO (KMVT/KSVT) — This year is no ordinary year for school districts looking to hire teachers.

“We have seven teaching positions that are open which is higher than normal,” said David Carson, the Buhl superintendent.

And applications haven’t kept up with the demand.

“One to two new applicants every week. Which at that rate, we’re not going to be able to fill that we’ve had open, and we’ve hired every applicant that has come our way essentially,” said Eva Craner, the Public Relations director for the Twin Falls School District.

And it can be even tougher for more rural districts like Buhl, who have trouble keeping up with the competitive market, as teachers look for more money in larger districts.

“Generally speaking, smaller districts do lose staff to larger districts,” said Carson.

With resources already stretched thin, all Magic Valley districts are running into another common problem.

“In the Magic Valley region, it’s hard to find teachers in general just because we don’t have a university close by,” said Carson.

This is leaving some officials concerned about what they’ll have to do for the upcoming school year.

“If you think back to when we were having the substitute shortages, and talking about (how) things are going to have to change within our school system, and schools will have to close, we’re kind of at that same level of concern right now,” said Craner. “Not that schools will have to close, but that we have to be really creative in making sure that all of our classes are covered.”

But what if there aren’t enough teachers to cover classes? Officials say there are a lot of options, including going online, as a last resort

“Availability of online classes through IDLA, they provide some great resources. We would all love to have teachers in the classroom, but if that’s not possible then you’re looking at some other avenues or opportunities to be able to provide those,” said Carson.

Craner says now is the time to apply if you’re thinking about going into education.

“If you have a bachelor’s degree or 48 college credits, and you’re interested in maybe someday becoming an educator, this is the year where it may be a good time to come in and talk to us,” Craner said.

Copyright 2022 KMVT/KSVT. All rights reserved.