Charleston, South Carolina – Teacher shortage is becoming serious problem in South Carolina as teachers job postings reach all time high lately. Teacher advocacy group SC for ED says the teacher morale is sinking and that’s the reason why we are seeing teacher shortage.
“It’s low,” says SC For Ed’s Lisa Ellis. “They are frustrated. The icing on the cake is a later school year because of COVID, we’ve gotten a shorter summer.”
Ellis and her team have been driving around South Carolina and speaking with teachers about the problems they face, the Covid-19 crisis, working conditions and much more.
“Honestly, what we heard more was working conditions. Districts and schools have got to pay attention to working conditions, they have got to make their teachers feel welcome and respected,” says Ellis.
The issue has become critical as until July 10 there are 900 vacancies more compared to last year this period. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted with many teachers to leave their jobs, but the issue is much bigger since young people are not even considering the teaching profession.
“With COVID, not only do you have those young teachers leaving but you also had an exodus of veteran teachers leaving, not only with the institutional knowledge that they carry with them, but who is going to mentor the young?” asks Ellis.
Teachers in South Carolina received a 2% salary increase this year and a retroactive step increase as well as a $1,000 COVID payout. However, experts say this will not address the issue because the working conditions will become even more evident with the lower number of teachers on a state level.
“With the teacher shortage and with the vacancies as high as they are, it means that the class sizes are going to be even bigger than usual. We are predicting to see an increase in class sizes which just exacerbates the working conditions,” says Ellis.
We checked with our Lowcountry districts. There are 90 teacher job postings in Berkeley County and another 27 at Dorchester School District Two. We are still waiting to hear from the rest of our districts.