Austin, TX – Staffing issues have been common for many public schools across the country for years. Now, more than ever, communities are positioned to help schools solve this problem with a variety of technology, funding, and community solutions.
Post-COVID, it’s tempting to believe that the pandemic caused the staffing shortages K-12 schools are currently facing. However, the shortages began after the Great Recession in 2008 when reducing public school funding by $1,000 per student was common in almost every state in the country. Despite state revenues being back to pre-recession levels by 2014, many states still have not increased school funding to pre-recession levels. Add in normal inflation and the unprecedented toll that the pandemic placed on everyone, and public schools are now facing some of the biggest staffing issues.
At WorkMonger, we believe that communities are better positioned than ever before to help solve the staffing issues public schools face. By using technology advancements, community support, staff tenacity, and state funding, communities can help public schools heal and thrive.
During the pandemic, schools found that students could largely be served remotely by using modern technology to connect teachers, tutors, parents, and students together. Technology also has an opportunity to solve another problem contributing to staffing shortages. Historically, schools competed against each other to hire from a small, local talent pool. But now, staff are leaving the industry in favor of other careers in other industries. With the help of technology, teachers and administrators can serve even the most low-income and rural schools remotely.
Technology can also be used to collect and monitor employee retention and turnover data. By tracking shortages in real-time, districts are able to fill temporary needs and problem-solve for longer-term turnover.
School districts and their local communities can connect to solve staffing issues as well. Districts can update their licensure requirements for a variety of their open positions to gain new employees with less education and skills but who are willing to learn. Districts can then provide education and certifications for those individuals to train them on certain skills to fill much-needed open roles.
Districts can also expand their search to a wider talent pool to include remote roles, as well as retired teachers, administrators, and support staff. Retired individuals are wonderful assets to school districts not only because they can fill in substitute and tutor positions to give full-time individuals time off, but they also have a lot of institutional knowledge to help train new hires. Not only will this type of support provide mental health benefits for all public school employees, but it will also help provide employees with the bandwidth to be tenacious – even when they need to wear many hats to fill in for understaffed roles.
It’s not news that to hire and maintain quality employees, it’s best to pay them well – even when it comes to public school teachers, administrators, and support staff. Beyond solely increasing employee pay, school districts can develop compensation opportunities for employees, such as paying off student loans and mortgage assistance. Other incentives can include paying employees more to work in an underserved community.
To make these financial opportunities possible for school districts, everyone can reach out to their local and state governments to request more funding for the public schools in their area. Communities across the country showed their support for public school employees during the pandemic. Now it’s time to band together to make lasting changes.
When communities get together to support an initiative like supporting their public schools, everyone wins – the employees, the parents, and, most importantly, the children. To learn more about how to contact your local and state governmental entities, search for your local and state government website online.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, WorkMonger is the leading hiring service and platform dedicated to serving the unique needs of the education sector by matching expert non-teaching talent with impact-driven organizations.
CALLOUT: By using technology advancements, community support, staff tenacity, and state funding, communities can help public schools heal and thrive.