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Kansas Department of Education: Teacher Vacancies Remain High


TOPEKA, Kan. (KNS) – New numbers from the Kansas Department of Education show the teacher shortage continues across the state. Public schools reported more than 1,600 vacant jobs in April – about the same number as last fall. Most openings are in special education and elementary schools.

State licensing director Shane Carter says districts aren’t getting qualified applicants. “There’s not anyone there that we can get into a program, that can take a test or whatever to become properly licensed. There’s just nobody to apply or fill that position,” he said.

While Kansas schools are still struggling to find enough teachers, officials think the teacher shortage may have hit its peak. Carter says the teacher shortage remains a challenge, but there is some good news. “We didn’t have a huge increase, so hopefully this indicates that we’ve reached our ceiling for vacancies,” he said.

Special education and elementary positions have the largest number of openings. And the teacher shortage is worst in rural parts of western Kansas.

State education leaders are trying to attract more people to the teaching profession. A new apprenticeship program launching this fall will pay college tuition for some students pursuing degrees in teaching.