Stateline schools see teacher shortages

MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- Many schools across the county are going back to school with teacher shortages. Some local school districts are searching for certified teachers and some think there are fewer people going into the education field because of the salary.

The Rockford Public Schools District has more than 50 open certified staff positions while the Harlem district has more than 20. Some districts say it used to get more than 100 applicants for one job opening but that just doesn’t happen anymore.

Some say it can be tough filling specific teaching positions in business, science and secondary math. The Harlem School District says it's also seeing a shortage in social workers and substitute teachers. Officials say although there is a shortage students do not need to worry about going to class without a teacher. Some believe the teacher's salary could be turning people off to the career path.

“I think that it has to do with pay, you know college kids coming out of college want to make more money and I think money's an issue. We still have candidates out there I just think the pool is getting smaller and hopefully that trend will turn around,” said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources for the Harlem School District Scott Rollinson.

Rollinson says the district can't offer incentives to new teachers because of bargaining agreements with the teachers union; however they do up the pay when it comes to hiring substitute teachers.

Some districts say although they are getting less and less candidates they encourage people to get into the education career path because the benefits of helping a child grow makes it all worthwhile.