Two Major US School Systems Cancel Classes Over Teacher Shortage
As the nation experiences a widespread employment crisis, schools in Denver and Seattle closed due to staffing shortages.
The Denver Post reported that the Boulder Valley School District closed schools because they couldn’t find enough substitute teachers and other staff to keep the doors open.
“We are doing everything in our power to keep our schools open and to maximize in-person learning opportunities for our students,” said Will Jones, a spokesman for Denver Public Schools. “At the same time, we are facing a critical staffing shortage, like districts across the country, that impacts our ability to safely operate our schools.”
In Washington, both Seattle and Bellevue schools canceled classes because of staffing issues.
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) released a statement that said, “we are aware of a larger than normal number of SPS staff taking leave on Friday, and do not believe we have adequate personnel to open schools.” The SPS closed its schools the following Thursday and Friday.
According to the Seattle Times, the Seattle Education Association (SEA) said its class cancellations were due to the state’s substitute teacher shortage, citing that COVID-19 has made it more difficult to fill those vacancies.
“Educators are stretching themselves to the limit to provide COVID-safe, quality services and learning for all of our students but we cannot succeed without adequate support,” the SEA said in a statement.