RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Most schools begin their second week on Tuesday, but districts across the area are still struggling to find teachers. Experts say part of the problem is fewer teachers coming out of colleges.
Numbers from the federal government show a 30 percent drop nationwide in students enrolled in teacher prep programs over the last decade.
Johnston County Public Schools needs to fill more than 200 teaching positions. Talent acquisition administrator Sharon Bryant tells CBS 17 she has reached out to colleges across the region and they’re reporting fewer teachers graduating.
“We don’t see that getting any better in the near future so we have to be creative,” Bryant said.
However, N.C. State University officials say they’re seeing slight increases in enrollment and graduates for its teacher prep programs. Assistant dean Dr. Erin Thomas Horne says that’s because they’re offering more scholarship money and additional financial support.
“(Educators are) willing to go into the profession if they know they can leave college and leave with as little debt as possible and still become teachers,” Horne said.
NCSU officials sent statistics to CBS 17, showing it graduated 239 certified teachers last year, compared to 189 in the 2019-20 school year. The university also has more than 600 students enrolled in its college of education this semester.