© 2022 University of Missouri - KBIA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kansas City-Area Schools Innovate to Fill Teacher Vacancies

MilkCrates.jpg
Kristofer Husted
/
KBIA

Kansas City-area schools are rehiring retired teachers and training counselors and coaches to teach due to a critical teacher shortage.

The Kansas City Star reports that last October the Kansas Department of Education logged a 19% increase in vacant teaching positions from a year earlier. About 11% of teaching positions are vacant in Missouri schools every year.

The shortage affects urban, rural and some suburban schools.

Kansas and Missouri education officials say low salaries don't help. The state education department says Missouri's average starting teacher salary is $31,842, while new Kansas teachers earn $34,883.

Ann Jarrett, director of teaching and learning for the Missouri National Education Association, says teachers' varied skills are in high demand and can land them jobs that pay more.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.