October 4, 2015

As school starts, some rural districts face teacher shortage

This is the first day of class for many Nebraska school districts and some administrators are still scrambling to fill out their faculty rosters. Ted Hillman, superintendent for the Boyd and Lynch school district, says filling open teaching positions hasn’t been easy.

“The Nebraska legislature and local schools have worked hard to maintain what they feel are attractive beginning salaries, especially for young people, to come to Nebraska,” Hillman says, “but it’s no secret, the folks in Iowa will pay better, the folks in Minnesota will pay better.”

Hillman says parts of rural Nebraska, in particular, are experiencing a teacher shortage.

Randy Anderson, superintendent for Crofton and the newly-consolidated Hartington-Newcastle district, says he’s fortunate that most of his districts’ openings are filled.

“The candidates have been very strong, excellent, and I’ve just really had very good luck with finding very competent replacements,” Anderson says. Unlike many other rural districts, Anderson says the turnover is low and the beginning pay for teachers is competitive.

“In Crofton, $32,200 and in Hartington, it’s $31,750,” Anderson says. “For this northeast Nebraska area, it’s a fairly strong starting salary.”

Classes begin today for students in the Boyd and Lynch district, as well as in Hartington-Newcastle and Crofton.

By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton


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