America’s public schools lost 1.5 million students during the last school year compared with the year before. In addition, every state is experiencing staffing shortages for all educational system positions. The lack of teachers has been increasing over recent years and is becoming much more pronounced in the third school year affected by the COVID pandemic.
In July, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 460,000 vacancies in public education positions, almost three times the number of open jobs just one year before. The shortage has grown despite increased salary and bonus offers and other hiring and retention incentives.
School systems have implemented some dramatic changes to compensate for decreased staffing. Small classes have been reinstated, and some schools have been closed for education for additional days to pay.
An international survey including the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., and other nations indicates that 40 percent of respondents are at least “somewhat likely” to quit their current employment in the next three to six months. Almost two-thirds of that group said they would be willing to leave even if they did not have another position lined up.
Teachers have been leaving their jobs amid vaccine mandates and fear-mongering by union representatives about the risks presented to teachers by COVID. Leftist educational programs have also discouraged many conservative teachers from entering or remaining in public education. Many otherwise qualified teachers are not interested in working in classrooms where the American flag has been replaced with gay pride, transgender, and Black Lives Matter flags.
Teachers have also found that American civics has been cast aside to favor revisionist critical race theory subjects, including the 1619 Project. Separating students and staff into rigid classes of “oppressors” and “oppressed” has left many prospective teachers uninterested. Even math teachers have found that basic arithmetic and algebra are considered a part of the “white supremacist patriarchy.”
Unless public education recognizes why teachers and students are leaving in record numbers, the only likely pathway the leftists in charge will see open to them is to attempt outlawing private education and homeschooling to protect their racket against American taxpayers and parents and children. In that event, Americans will have to decide whether to fight to recapture public education or fight to escape it.