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'No new hires to be found': Teacher shortages hammer some districts, others not so much

teacher
Josh James
/
WUKY

Like many states, Kentucky is facing a shortage of teachers. And while there are a number of reasons for the deficit, a pressing question for some districts – as the new school year begins – is: What do we do right now?

It’s tough to nail down the data with the pandemic upending lots of expectations, but a couple figures from a recent Department of Education presentation stand out.

First, roughly 1 in every 5 Kentucky teacher job openings is going unfilled and – if you add up the groups considered at higher risk for leaving, including those at the beginning of their careers or nearing retirement – a worrying number of teachers fall into that category.

"About 72 percent, we would say, is at some risk, of leaving the profession—either that they can financially or they're in a group of teachers that historically shows a trend of being more likely to leave the profession," State Education Commissioner Jason Glass said.

Hear the full story.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.