Earlier this month, Madison Metropolitan School District was reporting 199 teacher vacancies and 124 vacancies for non-teaching staff. These numbers were similarly high in other districts around the state and country.
The teacher shortage has been making national headlines over the past few weeks as schools prepare to open for the upcoming academic year. It may seem like a new problem, but education professionals like Kim Kohlhaas, president of AFT-Wisconsin, say the crisis has been simmering for decades.
“We have a system that’s been struggling for quite a long time by design,” she says.
Today, she joins host Carousel Bayrd for a back-to-school show putting the teacher shortage in the historical context of Act 10 in Wisconsin, the widespread burnout and low pay in the profession, and decreasing investment in public education.