MO Substitute Teacher Shortage Reaches Crisis Level

Missouri has had a chronic problem with teacher shortages, but COVID-19 has made that can of worms open even more. Just ask Missouri Board of Education member Mary Schrag of southern Missouri’s West Plains.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, members discussed how schools continue to struggle with having enough teachers available to educate kids in traditional classrooms this year.

Missouri Department of Education Assistant Commissioner Paul Katnik says the state’s substitute teacher shortage has reached a crisis level.

More than 2,700 Missourians have enrolled in an online training program that can fast track candidates to become K-12 substitute teachers. So far, about 700 are currently subbing. Katnik says people in every region of the state have signed up.

The 22-hour substitute teacher program is available on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s website.