For local school leaders, summer is a time to prepare for the upcoming school year.
“School districts across the state are kind of struggling to fill some positions,” says Jared Revlett, Public Information Officer for Owensboro Public Schools. “One of the big ones (job openings) we still have open is a middle school position.”
This is not just a problem in Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois are also struggling to fill certain teaching positions.
“There are not as many students who are graduating from college with teaching degrees,” says Revlett. “Those that are, there aren’t very many specialized positions so we aren’t seeing as many math teachers, science teachers.”
Many school leaders are implementing a variety of incentives, hoping to make teaching a more desirable career. This is not just a trend with teachers, other staff, including transportation officials, are making adjustments too.
“A few years ago, the Owensboro board of education and the Daviess County Board of Education increased the hourly rate for beginning bus drivers in order for us to be a competitive market because we have other transportation businesses in town,” says Chris Gaddis, Transportation Director for Owensboro Public Schools.
Another way schools are trying to draw in more bus drivers is showcasing the flexible hours.
“You can work where you want to work when you want to work. If you want to sub and you don’t want to work,” says Jason Woebkenberg, Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation Chief Communications officer.