Teacher shortage remains on-going issue within Syracuse City School District Teacher shortage remains problem in Syracuse City School District

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – A nationwide shortage of staffing within public schools continues to impact areas like the Syracuse City School District, which is still looking to fill in currently vacant spots for teachers.

At least 200 positions remain open across the SCSD as of Feb. 8, according to CNYCentral. With classes already in sessions across the Syracuse area, substitute teachers continue to be hired to fill in due to the current shortage of teachers.

“Honestly, the shortage of teachers alone is honestly very bad,” Xavier Trapps, a substitute teacher at Henninger High School, said. “You know, it’s to the point where the SCSD is literally desperate for teachers.”

In February 2022, the New York Union of Teachers estimated that over 80,000 teachers across the state would retire in the next five years. Fast forward to 2024, and the shortage remains a problem within the SCSD.

Current substitute teachers like Naira McIntyre, who’s a senior at Syracuse University, said the shortage can be felt in the classroom.

“The teacher’s shortage… I can definitely, definitely see it especially in the high schools,” McIntyre said. “Kids are just not connecting how they should with their teachers I feel.”

The shortage remains a problem across New York State. The NYSUT estimates that more than 180,000 teachers in the next decade. Since 2009, enrollment in teacher education programs in New York declined by 53%.

The district in October received 1.5 million dollars as part of the Empire State Teacher Residency program to help mitigate the shortage.

The SCSD will continue to partly rely on substitutes like Trapps and McIntyre to help off-set the on-going shortage. McIntyre noted the gap in pay for teachers compared to other professions, which she said would help in the long-term to reduce the teaching shortage.

“They (teachers) deserve better pay and they deserve just as much as they put in,” McIntyre said. “These are long hours, they’re here before the sun rises and long after the sun sets.”

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