Hudson Valley schools grapple with nationwide staff shortages

Briarcliff Manor Superintendent James Kaishian says the shortage is a “very real and persistent problem” that is “only going to get worse.”

News 12 Staff

Aug 29, 2022, 10:46 PM

Updated 639 days ago

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School districts across the Hudson Valley are working to address school staff shortages that have affected the whole nation.
Briarcliff Manor Superintendent James Kaishian says the shortage is a “very real and persistent problem” that is “only going to get worse.”
Jolene DiBrango, executive vice president of the state teacher's union, says it started pre-pandemic. The teacher retirement system projected about 180,000 teachers could retire in the next 10 years, and enrollment in new teacher prep programs is down 50% since 2009.
"That's another reason that we know we're kind of in a crisis situation," she says.
Since the pandemic, roughly 300,000 educators and staff left the field in the past two years, according to the Bureau of Labor.
DiBrango says there's several reasons for the mass exodus – including many more stresses and responsibilities post-pandemic.
"Bottom line, teachers will stay in the profession and teachers will stay in the profession if we provide a respectful environment for them," she says.
That includes listening to teachers and giving them the tools they need to do their jobs well. Some state districts are also offering incentives, like paying more if you stay for a certain period – but not every district has that luxury.
Long term, DiBrango says the teacher's union is working with the state Education Department to keep standards high, while also making it simpler to become certified. She says there are also programs showing success that encourage students to become teachers and allow teachers in training to receive a salary and train longer.


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