Results from a survey recently released by the School Administrators of South Dakota (SASD) yielded troubling results about the state’s teacher pool.
Based on responses from 80 percent of the public school districts in South Dakota, the SASD survey found that 258 teaching positions (over 30 percent) remained open as of May 28 from the more than 800 teaching positions that sought applicants this spring.
Read the survey results here.
Traditionally, South Dakota schools have most of their teaching positions filled by the end of May.
The results come on the heels of a survey commissioned by ASBSD and SASD in February in which 75 percent of superintendents responding believed the teaching applicant pool was inadequate.
“The teacher shortage is a big problem that affects all academic areas in our schools,” SASD Executive Director Rob Monson said in the release.
“We don’t just lack Math and Science teachers like has been previously publicized, we lack teachers in every subject and in every school district.”
Survey participants reported that of the 62 Math positions open this spring 29 still needed to be filled; of the 64 English positions, 21 were not staffed and of the 43 Special Education positions, 14 remained open.
Even elementary teaching positions, which tend to receive more applicants, had 31 positions unfilled from the 279 that initially were open.
Monson said one of the biggest concerns among the K-12 community is the inability to put a teacher in their classroom. He shared the survey results with members of the Legislative Planning Committee charged with studying K-12 education at their first meeting on Monday’s (6/16).
“We’re struggling to find the people in the classrooms,” Monson testified at Monday’s meeting. “I hope that becomes a big focus of (the study).”
ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany joined Monson in suggesting the committee take a thorough look at the problem. Pogany expressed his concern about the survey’s results.
“We’ve seen this issue building for a while now and the survey backs up those concerns,” Pogany said of the survey. “This is a problem we need to address now or our students will suffer.”