by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The headline, “Double whammy creates teacher shortfall in Richmond County schools” sure sounds ominous! And Richmond County Daily Journal reporter Christine Carroll goes to great lengths to play up the “crisis,” including a discussion of class size mandates passed by Republican legislators, decreases in education school enrollment, and a quote about teacher pay from an unidentified representative from Public Schools First NC, a liberal advocacy group.
And then you arrive at the last line of the article…
“We’re going to be OK,” [Richmond County Superintendent Cindy] Goodman said — especially since most schools don’t have more than one vacancy.
Richmond County Schools operates 15 schools and, according to the article, has 17 teacher vacancies. The district employed 469 classroom teachers last year. Most businesses would celebrate similar job vacancy rates.
While I do not know how this year’s vacancy numbers compare to the previous year (apparently, the reporter did not care to ask, and the Department of Public Instruction no longer collects that data), I’d say that the district is in pretty good shape.