School Staff Shortages


Kailynn Miller, Edited-In-Chief

You may have noticed that there has been school staffing shortages hitting hard recently. Not only at Blackfoot High School (BHS). Lately, there has been an increase in the staff shortages in schools all over the United States. In our school, Blackfoot High School, you may have seen that even our Superintendent, Brian Kress, was left with teaching students in a classroom due to positions remaining unfilled. People are being brought in from all sorts of different places to fill these empty positions that are being left, just so students can get an education. Our district is not only short on staff but is also short on substitute teachers for those staff members. Some schools across the United States have had no choice but to shut down due to insufficient staffing. These staffing positions, if filled, are most often going to underqualified individuals or simply remaining unfilled. 

Some schools are hiring back previously retired teachers, hiring bus drivers to do the janitorial work or having the teachers do it themselves, some schools are even hiring the students to serve lunch, and schools are even shortening the school week to four days of instruction, which is the schedule that Blackfoot High School is already on by default. Some schools are even bringing in people who don’t have any relation with the school to do work for them. 

Why is the staffing shortage so bad within schools? This is due to many different factors. These positions are being left unfilled because of subpar wages, work environments, pandemic protocols, health concerns, and much more. COVID-19 has been the newest reason these positions are left unfilled because staff are having to quarantine or leave in the middle of the school day due to feeling unwell and leaving their position uncovered. Staff members may have been exposed to the virus themselves or have a family member that was and they still have to quarantine, this can come on suddenly leaving them with no time to find someone to cover their classes. 

Having staff shortages in our schools is not just impacting the teachers though, by hiring under qualified people to do the jobs of these teachers, the students’ education is suffering. Students are having to take their learning into their own hands if they wish to succeed because there aren’t any qualified position-fillers within the school as of now that are able to teach them what they need to know.