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Survey: Indiana school districts seeing teacher shortages

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) – A survey of Indiana school superintendents has found that many districts are experiencing a teacher shortage this fall.

It was the third year Terry McDaniel, an Indiana State University professor in the department of educational leadership, conducted the survey, The Tribune Star reported.

Of the 141 district superintendents who responded, 94 percent said they had a teacher shortage. Almost 70 percent reported having a shortage in special education teachers while 57 percent reported having shortages in science and math.

Previous surveys found 92 percent of districts had shortages in 2016, and 95 percent in 2015.

The survey found 23 percent of districts rely on full-time substitute teachers to deal with the shortages.

“The teacher shortage is real and we continue to see the proof,” McDaniel said. “We need to continue to find ways to keep our good teachers in the profession and recruit high-quality new teachers.”

McDaniel said many teachers are leaving the profession and few people are entering it.

Survey respondents said poor pay has contributed to the lack of qualified teaching applicants.

Many students don’t go into education because of the cost of obtaining a degree and the salary they’d receive, McDaniel said. The average beginning teacher salary in Indiana is about $34,000, he said.