The adults who work in schools—in both quantity and quality—are critical to the creation and sustaining of learning environments that support students’ academic growth and social-emotional development. Recruiting and retaining employee talent for public schools has always been hard work, but something many districts have done passively.
But as regional shortages of teachers, bus drivers, food service workers, and paraeducators extended into a widespread crisis over the course of the pandemic, it’s clear that districts need to address their human capital issues more strategically and with an eye on longer-term sustainability. The quality of education—and kids’ learning recovery from the pandemic’s disruptions—depends on it.
With those stakes in mind, this two-part series dives into some key reasons why staffing is in a crisis state and explores some innovative, if unproven strategies for addressing it.