by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
“While it’s normal for districts to have some vacancies before the start of the year, this year feels different for many educators. “I think it might be the worst because COVID,” [Weldon City Schools teacher Corey] Odom said. “We have a lot of teachers, especially veteran teachers have some underlying health issues, and some are facing retirement.”
“In the Triangle, Durham Public Schools reported earlier this month around 100 more open positions than this time last year. A majority for the openings for exceptional children teachers and elementary teachers.”
“Despite repeated requests, Wake County Publics [sic] Schools has not released how many vacancies they face.”
“Cumberland County Schools’ vacancies were in line with last year’s number with around 90 open positions.”
“The incentives are paying off. CJ McDonald came all the way from Greensboro to fill one of the bus driver vacancies for the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools.”
There may be a teacher vacancy problem, but the ABC 11 story does not provide enough evidence of it. Durham is the only district reporting an increase in vacancies this year, but there is no indication that it is a “struggle” for the district.