A state survey shows that principals are scrambling because there aren’t enough substitute or full-time teachers.
A Washington survey shows that principals across the state are in “crisis mode” because of a shortage of substitute and full-time teachers.
Governor Jay Inslee has proposed boosting teachers’ starting pay to address the shortage.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction found that 58 percent of elementary-school principals, 50 percent of middle-school principals and 45 percent of high-school principals say they’re in crisis trying to find substitutes. (One caveat: Only about a third of the state’s principals responded to the survey.)
Some school administrators end up having to cover for classes for hours or even full days. In the state survey, 74 percent of principals reported personally doing so.
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Many school districts have bumped up substitute pay or hired emergency substitutes who aren’t fully qualified as a last resort.
Unfilled teaching positions are also abundant. In the OSPI survey, 46 percent of principals from rural schools say they have vacant positions.
Yakima Herald and Seattle Times staff contributed to this report.