LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- New numbers show Clark County School District's teacher shortage has been worsening, and families say they are feeling the effects.

The number of vacancies has grown this semester, according to reports. And although district communications said Wednesday that there are now "approximately 800" licensed teacher vacancies, the president of CCSD's largest teachers union said she was told there are more.

"I heard from a district person that the shortage of educators is up to 860," said Marie Neisess, Clark County Education Association president.

This would mean a roughly 30% increase in the size of that gap compared to the start of the school year. On July 26, the district had just 656 open teacher positions posted on their website.

Neisess said she is concerned that the coming weeks will be a vulnerable time for retaining the district's teachers.

"Some educators, for whatever reason, if they decide to leave, will leave at winter break. So I'm concerned with what that number will look like in January," she said.

Educators said they have seen their colleagues choose to leave in higher numbers than usual.

"I'd be lying to you if I said it's not stressful," said Woolley Elementary School Principal Joseph Uy.

"We have two teachers not returning," said Schorr Elementary School kindergarten teacher Kristan Nigro. "That's just two in my building."

Meanwhile, families are feeling the effects.

One Escobedo Middle School mother said when it comes to her seventh grader's teachers, it has been a revolving door this semester.

"This semester alone, she's had three teachers just leave the school or the school district," said Shannen Dubose. "My daughter, she got into the car on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break and she was in tears. I said, 'What's wrong?' And she goes, 'My favorite teacher just left.' It was her English teacher, and she was just heartbroken."

Now, Dubose said her daughter is being graded by a teacher who is not physically present in the classroom, something she finds concerning, adding, "they have no personal relationship."

The teacher told her the remote grading process was a result of the teacher shortage at their school.

CCSD generic classroom

"It's flabbergasting to me that the school district has gotten to the point that a teacher that doesn't know my daughter, has never interacted with my daughter, is now grading my daughter," said Dubose.

Administrators of Escobedo Middle School declined to comment for this story.

Teachers said that it's more than just pay that is causing teachers to leave -- the pandemic has contributed.

"It was the craziest start to the school year this year, just because trying to manage procedures, expectations," said Nigro.

The lack of substitute teachers has also resulted in many teachers covering each other's classes during their prep periods. Couple that with health concerns and catching up on pandemic-related learning loss, and it's been a tough year.

Neisess said the solution for the teacher shortage is not exactly clear, but is calling on district leaders and administrators to show teachers the respect they deserve.

"You need to respect your educators. You need to value their worth, ya know, their pay, their benefits, and looking at: how much more are you putting on their plates?" said Neisess.

The district's communications office declined to provide a statement Wednesday on what the district is doing to prevent a worsening problem.

Neisess said she hopes education leaders are aware of the impacts students are feeling as a result of this issue, and that they will work toward solutions to retain teachers. 

"They need a routine. And if you have a different educator, if your class is being split up amongst other teachers, then that becomes ... not a routine," Neisess said. "That is definitely impacting the student's learning of that day."

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(6) comments

bjkourik

To all the idiots that think that CRT is being taught in Nevada's schools......get educated, please. Your ignorance is showing, maybe you should be involved with your kids' education for a change, and if you don't have kids in CCSD stop armchair QB'ing. You don't have kids, you don't have any say, STFU.

False!

School system is broken. The future is looking bleak

Nevermore

Yes, it's a tragedy for the children, it's a tragedy for the parents and it's a tragedy for the good teachers.

Nevermore

Private schools or home schooling is a better option than public schools. Critical race theory. Really! Like we could pick and choose our race before being born. Liberalism is really a sickness.

george strong

Public education is child abuse. Parents don't demand school vouchers because they are cowards.

qwerty123

Short Answer: Yes, they are tired of long hours, low pay, no respect from parents nor admin, and being scapegoated for all the ills of society.

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