When you can’t find teachers, you hire people who are not licensed and put them on emergency waivers. We have seen a startling increase of of the number of teachers on emergency waivers going into this school year.

Arkansas has 15% of its teachers on emergency waivers – and it is always math, science and special education and usually students from high needs schools that get these teachers.  Jefferson County in Alabama still has 60 positions open one week before school starts.

But an Idaho article really made me chuckle a little because – “A hiring emergency is not really an emergency” according to a Madison School District superintendent. There issue is the same as others – they used to have 10-20 applications per opening allowing them to pick the best qualified and best match for their schools – now they only get 1-2 applications per opening meaning they are taking what is there.

So – as we keep saying – it is not so much the teacher shortage that is sending people in to an “emergency”, it is the talent shortage. If you don’t have a really good choice of candidates you end up settling on the person in front of you.

And that’s not good enough for our students.