White Plains superintendent warns of teacher shortage precipice

Posted: Updated:

Schools around the Hudson Valley seem to be finding it more challenging to fill classrooms with quality substitute teachers.

White Plains School District Superintendent Dr. Joe Ricca attributes a shortage of substitute teachers to several factors. He says that there is a lower unemployment rate and substitutes don't have benefits, like health insurance.

According to the New York State United Teachers Union, fewer people are entering the teaching profession.

Since 2009, enrollment in State University of New York education programs is down nearly 50 percent.

“We're at a precipice of a very large teacher shortage because we know from the college university level they're seeing fewer students enrolling in education preparation courses,” says Ricca.

In Brewster, there are yard signs posted outside schools that are advertising the extra help.

In a statement, the district says it's managing the shortage by seeking out substitute teachers at recruitment fairs.

Ricca encourages anyone with a teaching certificate, or those working toward certification, to apply on the district website.

Until the demand for the extra help slows down, districts like White Plains are using other methods to make sure kids are getting what they need.

“I know many administrators, many principals have jumped in and taught classes during the day to fill those holes when needed,” says Ricca

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