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NY facing teacher shortage

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) - Many kids grow up wanting to be teachers when they get older, but once they head off to college, fewer and fewer students are staying with that career choice.

"There are some areas that are getting absolutely zero applicants for jobs," Charles Dedrick, Executive Director of NYS Council of Superintendents, said.

There is a major teacher shortage in New York right now. It's not just schools in the North Country that are not getting enough teachers to come back to their area, it's also the Southern Tier, Western New York, and even the Capital Region. Superintendents are saying its starting to affect their schools in a serious way.

"80 percent are saying that its a problem. That shows its a real issue we need to deal with."

Educators are trying to figure out why fewer students are entering the teaching profession, and worry that it has become too politicized with debates over standardized testing and teacher strikes.

"The information that people have been presented with it seems to be very negative towards teaching and schools."

"We want to reclaim the narrative and start talking about the benefits of being a teacher," Jolene DiBrango, NYSUT Executive Vice President, said.

The state's council of superintendents and the teacher's union have been teaming up to figure out new ways to motivate future teachers. There are programs such as grow your own, which encourages students in high school to return to their hometown to be a teacher.

"We really believe those students in those communities are best equipped to teach the students in those communities once they become adults."

There is talk about alternative incentives on the legislative level to drive more teachers to the state.

"Maybe they could have their student loans forgiven, scholarships," Dedrick said.

At the end of the month, there will be the first roundtable discussion on this topic with students and educators in Syracuse.


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