Idaho's schools superintendent will start substitute teaching amid a staff shortage - and she's asking parents to do the same.

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Kids in masks returning to school
Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
  • Idaho's public instruction superintendent is asking parents to work at schools amid staff shortages.

  • Sherri Ybarra says some schools closed in a matter of weeks this academic year over short-staffing.

  • She will even substitute teach to help plug the shortage, saying, "Help us keep our schools open."

Schools across the country are struggling with staff shortages, affecting everyone from substitute teachers to cafeteria workers to school bus drivers.

In Idaho, the situation is so dire that parents are being asked to take on some of these jobs at their kids' schools to keep them from closing over worker shortages.

Sherri Ybarra, Idaho's superintendent of public instruction, wrote a letter to parents across the state last week addressing the crisis.

"Education, like many other professions today, is experiencing a severe shortage of workers. This is not just for teachers, but also bus drivers, food service workers, and many other support positions," she wrote. "Please help us keep our schools open and our students learning with in-person instruction, in their schools, with their teachers and peers."

Ybarra noted that, due to labor shortages, some Idaho schools have already had to close in the few short weeks since school resumed this fall.

"Many of our districts and classrooms are open, but these shortages are creating some stressful and fragile situations," she wrote. "I am asking parents/guardians and community members around the state to help to fill the substitute teacher and staff shortages necessary to keep our schools open."

The superintendent added that she herself will even be stepping in as a substitute teacher to help plug the shortage, saying she is "so excited to return to my natural habitat."

"This is about the well-being of Idaho's K12 students, who are the future of this state," Ybarra continued. "Please call your local school or district office today. You are needed!"

She asked that parents who aren't able to fill the roles spread the word to others. Those interested in becoming substitute teachers will need to pass background checks, she added.

Last month, Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced a $10 million commitment to help schools recruit and retain substitute teachers and other support staff amid the shortage.

Across the country, schools are offering incentives like hiring bonuses and childcare to attract staff after many teachers quit over low wages, burnout from remote teaching, COVID-19 concerns for in-person teaching, or a number of other reasons.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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