San Francisco Unified School District experiencing major teacher shortage

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Many schools districts are going through not enough teachers. There are close to 100 teaching positions San Francisco Unified hasn't been able to fill. (KGO-TV)

Many schools districts are going through not enough teachers. There are close to 100 teaching positions San Francisco Unified hasn't been able to fill.

As of Sept. 29, there are 99 teaching positions in San Francisco's public schools that have yet to be filled. The school district is making sure parents know this doesn't mean 99 empty classrooms.
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"Some of those are being covered by long-term substitutes, or they are being covered by people who would otherwise be in other positions, or retired, folks we've had to bring back," said San Francisco school board member Matt Haney.

The president of the school board understands how disruptive this has been for the entire district. Teachers do too.

"I think anytime a kid goes through the year, or starts the year without having had a permanent teacher it kind of sets the year off," said Cathy Personius a San Francisco teacher.

The report says vacancies are mainly in special education and language arts. Both the school district and the teachers union blame the expensive rental market, making it difficult to hire and retain teachers.

"People will come here eager to teach in San Francisco and then realize they can't stay because they can't afford to stay," said Susan Soloman of the United Educators of San Francisco.

The number of teachers with credentials has also decreased in recent years, which has also contributed to the shortage.

Alex Schmaus is a teacher's aide or paraprofessional. A second report issued today found that there are 71 vacant paraprofessional positions.

"We're having teachers being asked if they want to volunteer to work during their prep time," said Alex Schmaus, a paraprofessional.

Ironically, a few years ago, teachers were being laid off because of state budget cuts.

"And now we're in a whole new landscape where we need to develop a stronger teacher pipeline and support our teachers so they can stay here," Haney said.
Related Topics:
educationreal estatehousingaffordable housingteachersSan Francisco
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