A teacher shortage continues to plague Illinois
WAVERLY, Ill. (WICS) —
A teacher shortage continues to plague central Illinois.
Being a teacher was once in the same category as being a superhero....
Everyone wanted to be one, but according to many educators, those people are dwindling.
“It's very expensive to become a teacher and the starting salaries just aren't good enough," explained Dr. Cynthia Wilson, the dept. chair for teacher education at UIS.
Not only are there fewer incentives to become a teacher, Wilson said the requirements to become an educator have gotten more difficult.
"The state board changed the cut scores required on the basic scores test. They didn't change the test itself, but they raised the score you have to pass to be accepted in the teacher education program," explained Wilson.
Now, 78 percent of schools are dealing with the effects of a teacher shortage, according to the Illinois Association of Regional School Districts.
"Eight years ago I would have 40 applicants for one position and currently there are occasions I don't have any," said Superintendent Dustin Day.
Heather Colwell has been a teacher for fourteen years.
She said her high school students tell her they're too worried to become an educator.
“Teaching comes up and I hear a lot of them say things like well I want to make sure I have enough money to support my family. I want to make sure I have a job that's going to be stable that I know I'm not going to have to work till I’m 72," she Colwell said.
Colwell said it's heartbreaking to see so little interest in a profession she holds so dear.
Here’s a link to a teacher survey recently conducted: http://iarss.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IARSS-Illinois-Educator-Shortage-2017-1.pdf