More on teacher recruitment and retention:
Posny said at the end of June, Kansas schools had 1,144 teacher vacancies out of 37,000 positions. That’s about twice as many vacancies as June 2006, she says.
A number of ideas are being floated, some good, some bad:
• Increasing teacher pay. Kansas ranks 38th in average teacher pay at $39,351 per year. The national average is $47,602.
• Increasing funding for mentoring programs where veteran teachers help new teachers.
• Financing “grow your own” programs where districts pay college tuition for para-professionals and others who want to become licensed teachers.
• Removing both salary limits and pension penalties for districts that hire teachers who have retired.
• Providing more flexibility in licensure regulations.
• Offering financial incentives to college students who commit to working in critical shortage subject and geographic areas.
How about this: Find out who the good teachers are, and pay them more.
Commission to address teacher shortage, Lawrence Journal-World, August 22.