Sunday, January 08, 2006

Teacher Shortages Plague Public Schools

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Business

JOB OUTLOOK 2006Despite alternative certification efforts to fill shortages, districts still need educators in the same familiar areas.

FILE 2002/Staff photo
FILE 2002/Staff photo
Frank Gault of the University of Texas at Arlington said a qualified teacher who speaks Spanish could easily find a job in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Math, science, special education and bilingual educators top the list again in 2006.

But instead of solutions to the shortages, discussions in Texas this year are likely to focus on school finance and the dearth of pay raises for teachers, said Curt Schafer, director of career services at Texas State University.

So is it a good time to enter the field? That depends on whom you ask, he said.

"There are always at least two, if not more, ways of looking at the half-empty side. People squabble with school finance, and some say there have not been significant raises," said Mr. Schafer, who is also a senator for the American Association for Employment in Education.

"If you are thinking about going into the field of education, you could look at the half-empty scenario, and that might be a deterrent for some folks."

There's job security

However, Mr. Schafer says, many teachers are happy with job security and conditions as opposed to testing the waters of corporate America.

He said that with Texas' collective student numbers growing, it could be a good time to find work in schools, providing you're qualified and in the right area.

According to the State Board of Education, Texas will need more than 82,000 new teachers by 2008.


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