: Public schools ‘unable to compete’ with private sector as thousands of K-12 staffers quit during back-to-school season

by | Oct 22, 2022 | Stock Market

Janitors, cafeteria workers and teachers appear to have one thing in common: They’re fed up. In September, 21,700 school workers left their jobs, according to the latest government data. This includes everyone from teachers to janitors at public schools. The number of K-12 school workers fell to 7,755,400 in September from 7,777,100 in August.

To put those figures in context: In March 2020, before the coronavirus took a toll on the U.S. economy, more than 8 million public-school staff were in the workforce.  Nationwide, there is a shortage of 300,000 teachers and other school workers, according to the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union in the country. Schools have been struggling to fill positions across the board, said Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association. “It is every position in our schools,” he told MarketWatch. “Custodians and maintenance workers, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals who are also known as teacher assistants, front-office staff, school counselors, school social workers, and then, of course, our instructional teachers,” he added. “So it runs the gamut, everyone is struggling to fill positions throughout the state and throughout the nation, and it’s all positions in our public schools,” Spar said.  Public education remains one of the least recovered sectors of the pandemic. Teachers reported high levels of stress during the early days of the pandemic, dealing with long working hours, less pay and navigating techn …

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