Staffing shortages continue to plague districts as new school year begins

School staffing shortages continue statewide

Counselors, bus drivers, music teachers, para-professionals, and special education teachers are all needed.

Most students in Minnesota have returned to the classroom for a new school year, but a lot of districts are continuing to deal with staffing shortages.

In Minneapolis, there is a push to bring in more educators but the issue isn’t exclusive to the Twin Cities metro area.

Currently, there’s a need for counselors, music teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals and special education roles in every corner of the state, according to Dr. Deb Henton, the executive director of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators.

Henton speaks with districts across the state and says some of them have been successful with hiring — especially recently — thanks in part to hiring events and bonuses, two things St. Paul Public Schools has recently used.

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According to St. Paul Public Schools, it hired more than 1,100 staff members this past summer, but the district is still down more than 100 openings.

There is a big slot open at Minneapolis Public Schools, which just announced it’s now accepting applications for a new superintendent. The previous superintendent, Ed Graff, left when his contract ended in 2022 and Rochelle Cox has been serving as the interim superintendent.

However, Henton says educators are making do with the resources they have as staffing shortages are found across the state, adding some districts have had zero applicants at this point.

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School officials say the shortages will primarily affect before- and after-school programs.