LPS staying in front of teacher shortage

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LINCOLN, Neb. – According to the Learning Policy Institute the United States will be short about 112,000 teachers next Fall. Lincoln Public Schools said they're not currently facing a teacher shortage but are being proactive with their hiring.

Tuesday they held their third annual Student Teacher Bootcamp. More than 200 students attend one of three sessions and learn about the LPS hiring process.

"We give them tips on what would be helpful in resume writing, cover letter writing, applying for positions and giving them a better direction of their goals of obtaining a teaching position," said Nikki Regan, Supervisor of Secondary Personnel, LPS.

According to the Nebraska Department of Education's 2016-2017 Teacher Vacancy Survey, there were 2,821 teaching jobs available last year. Out of these 232 were unfilled and 47 remained vacant.

"Unfilled" means someone is hired but they're not fully qualified and "vacant" means the position wasn't filled at all.

"We're very fortunate here in Lincoln because we're very close to all the colleges and universities in the metro area, [University of Nebraska-Lincoln], the small colleges, we've been able to recruit pretty well here , but even in many of our categories we have a hard time filling all those spots," said Assoc. Supt. Eric Weber, LPS.

According to the survey fewer people are going to school to become teachers. 10 years ago the University of Nebraska-Lincoln had 413 students graduate from their education program, last year they only had 333, that's a 20-percent decrease.

"Statewide we know that there are less teachers going into teaching, so we're all vying for the same teachers across the state," said Weber.
LPS hires between 400-450 teaches annually, and between 5-10 of those positions will remain vacant.

"Sometimes we have to move numbers around, we can combine classrooms, a lot of times we can go to our current teachers and ask them if they can pick up some additional coursework," said Weber.