Headlines across the state have been raising the alarm that during the first full school year back from remote learning, Oregon’s K-12 public schools are in an historic staffing crisis.
After 18 months of distance learning, Oregon educators are doing everything they can to make this school year a success for their students and keep schools open, which is a goal we all share. In fact, it’s essential for our student’s academic futures and for our communities. But extreme staffing shortages are taking a toll and have created an untenable and unsustainable situation that will not only have implications for this school year but for the future.
Most educators say it is impossible to get their work done during the day no matter how hard they work, that they have more stress on the job than ever before and a significant number of educators say they are seriously considering leaving the profession altogether.
The 2021-2022 school year could be a turning point or a breaking point for Oregon. If district and state leaders rise to the occasion and invest in getting desperately needed additional resources in the classroom and take steps to reduce unnecessary workloads, students will have the academic, behavioral, and emotional support they need for the long-term and a massive loss of trained educators can be avoided. If not, things are only going to get worse.
Click to read our Education at a Breaking Point report, released January 2022.