Richmond, Virginia – From teacher shortages to bus driver shortages, the education system has been hit hard this year.

“We all know there is a shortage of teachers in Virginia, and why is no mystery to anyone paying attention. Our teachers are not only underpaid, but almost excruciatingly We work under difficult working conditions,” said Dr. James. His J. Fedderman, president of the Virginia Educational Association, said: “They are not getting the respect they deserve and the resources they need to serve their students most effectively.”

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On Thursday, Governor Youngkin signed an executive order to address those shortfalls.

“Our children are still recovering from devastating learning losses and other impacts of school closures. Yes,” Youngkin wrote in the directive.

According to the Governor’s Office press release, some of the points included in the directive are:

  • “By letting teachers teach and especially promoting education and renewing licenses wherever possible,

  • Building a pipeline of K-12 teachers with an innovative free apprenticeship program,

  • Target teacher recruitment and retention efforts in communities and subject areas where they are most needed.

  • Build a pipeline of early childhood educators by connecting teachers with parenting options and training high school students as parenting professionals.

  • Collecting and providing accurate and timely data about the teaching profession, including information on what works and what doesn’t for teachers, helps to better recruit, retain and reduce shortages. so that you can deal with it if it occurs. “

But Fedderman said some of the ideas in the directive didn’t offer the serious investments that would make a big difference in the problem.

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“If the new Collective Bargaining for School Workers Act we helped pass is widely enforced across our state, educators and local school leaders will come to the table to address teacher shortages in our communities. We will negotiate an effective way to resolve it,” Fedderman said.

Fedderman says other solutions educators have been offering all along:

  • Pay educators competitive salaries and attract and retain quality staff.

  • Increase additional support for schools with high poverty rates through the At-Risk Add-On.

  • Lift the “support cap” that limits state aid to key school positions.

  • Invest in a community school model to break through the educational barriers that many students face.

  • Fully funded to quality standards set by the Virginia Board of Education.

“Current budget surpluses can be effectively used to solve this problem that affects all citizens of Virginia,” said Fedderman. “By what he does with those funds, our governor will show us whether he really cares about education and solving the teacher shortage.”

You can read the full text of Youngkin’s Executive Order on Teacher Shortages in Virginia Schools here.

Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved.



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