School Districts Are Seeing Staff Shortages Across the Nation: 'We're Going to do What We Have to do'

School Districts Are Seeing Staff Shortages Across the Nation: ‘We’re Going to do What We Have to do’

Teachers have to take on multiple roles within schools as school districts around the nation are suffering from staff shortages.

According to the Labor Department, 30,000 public school teachers resigned in September. And because of this, teachers who stayed picked up the slack that their former co-workers left behind. “I am principal, assistant principal, teacher, para-professional, I cover classes, lunch recess duty,” Gel Ortiz of Barnum Elementary School tells CBS News’ Janet Shamlian. “I do everything that needs to be done.”

Some of the rising numbers of resignations come in the midst of COVID-19 fear, illness, and stress. In Denver, even the number of substitute teachers is down from 1,200 to 375, according to Denver Public Schools superintendent Alex Marrero.

“It’s in droves that we’re having absences,” said Marrero to CBS. “The real issue here in Denver Public Schools is those guest teachers, and those substitute teachers and those ancillary supports that we do not have.”

Nevada is facing its own struggles with a lack of workers. Principal Joseph Uy at Las Vegas elementary school says he vacuums his campus due to them having a lack of cleaning crew employees. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, it’s draining,” Uy said. “Mentally, physically, emotionally, it’s draining,” Uy said.

Ortiz says that she puts in the extra work because the kids deserve it. “We’re going to do what we have to do,” Ortiz said. “We have to put our students first.”

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