PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A teacher shortage across the country is affecting school districts in Oregon.
Portland Public Schools currently has over 200 open instructional positions, 80 of which are teaching positions in core subjects. The district also has an additional 90 open positions for custodial staff and nutritional services, according to a presentation by the PPS Superintendent Tuesday night.
“The biggest piece I think folks have felt is this emotional fatigue. We’re all exhausted trying to change our lives around to keep others safe but part of that we have been put in the spotlight as educators,” Anglea Bonilla, president of the Portland Association of Teachers
Additionally, there are 81 teaching openings in the Beaverton School District and 50 total openings in the Reynolds School District, which makes up about 10% of the district’s total faculty.
It means some classrooms may be crowded, though school districts tell KOIN 6 News they are trying to limit the student-teacher ratio as much as they can.
Beaverton says they offer some of the top pay in the state to recruit teachers, while Reynolds says they’re offering bonuses for teachers that sign on with the district. However, these districts are often forced to poach from neighboring districts.
“We’ll poach from other districts, other districts are poaching from us. We’re vying for candidates in the same pool,” said Steve Padilla with Reynolds School District.
Oregon has one of the largest gaps between what teachers make and what other people with similar education and experience make, and Bonilla says that’s enticed some teachers to leave.