Advertisement

Some schools short staffed; looking for long-term solution

Staffing shortages for schools are not a new issue, but Steve Patchin, Hancock Public Schools superintendent says this year is noticeably worse.
An empty classroom
An empty classroom(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 4:26 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - With the school year well underway, some school districts are having trouble finding teachers.

Staffing shortages for schools are not a new issue, but Steve Patchin, Hancock Public Schools superintendent says this year is noticeably worse.

“There is a shortage of talent out there and it’s becoming really, really evident,” said Patchin.

He says when the district posted jobs years ago, it would get 20-30 applications. Now, it’s just one or two.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to get some high-quality candidates in that one or two, which is really what it’s all about, but in the future we need to do things a little differently,” said Patchin.

The superintendent believes districts need to work together to find people who want to live in Upper Michigan.

“Not everybody wants to live under a lot of snow and cold, right? But we need to find the snowmobilers, the cross-country skiers, the people that love to hike in the summertime, we need to find those people and bring them in,” said Patchin.

Hancock will be “very close” to full staff for this year.

Meanwhile, at the NICE Community School District in western Marquette County, classrooms are fully staffed.

“We’re always lucky here at NICE, we get a lot of applicants,” said Bryan DeAugustine, NICE Community School District Superintendent. “Subs obviously continue to be a concern both in bussing and in teaching.”

DeAugustine also says more could be done to promote what the U.P. has to offer.

“People who really enjoy the outdoors are leaving states like California, and the west, where it’s just so expensive to live,” said DeAugustine. “We would welcome them with open arms.”

According to DeAugustine, other districts nearby, are always looking for more substitute teachers and bus drivers.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.