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Concern rises as more teachers leave LPS

In Omaha, a mass exodus of teacher from the Omaha Public School District is expected, with nearly 600 teachers projected to resign by this summer.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 8:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -In Omaha, a mass exodus of teacher from the Omaha Public School District is expected, with nearly 600 teachers projected to resign by this summer.

10/11 NOW wanted to find out if Lincoln was seeing similar issued and learned, while the numbers aren’t as dramatic, it’s a nationwide trend administrators want to curb.

As of a March 15 deadline to declare intent, 142 certified staff members announced their resignations. The six-year average is 93. This is a 53% increase over that average and a 23% over last year.

However, those resigning teachers still only make up less than 4% of all LPS certified staff.

“Right now our numbers are looking okay,” Weber said. “Our classes have remained consistent over the last three years and every indication is that will remain the same.”

The director of the Lincoln Education Association said while LPS is doing okay, they’re still worried because it’s getting harder and harder to hire.

“It’s a tough profession,” said Deb Rasmussen, Lincoln Education Association. “We don’t go into it for the money, we go into it for the love of what we do and that’s kind of a hard sell.”

Rasmussen said she’s seen fewer college students in education programs applying to LPS. The district has seen the effects of this.

“In the last couple of years there are spots we haven’t been able to fill,” said Weber. “Special education positions are hard to fill, STEM positions in science, math and technology, those are hard to fill.”

This is why they’re focusing on retention too, so resignation numbers don’t keep going up.

“We have to make sure working conditions are good, and we have good salaries and benefits,” Rasmussen said.

Eighty-two other teachers have indicated they’re going to retire. This is up from least year, but in line with the average number of retirements. Looking at the total number of teachers and certified staff, LPS still has more than they did in 2019 before the pandemic.

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