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Recruitment & Retention Collection

Staffing Our Schools

The adults who work in schools—in both quantity and quality—are critical to the creation and sustaining of learning environments that support students’ academic growth and social-emotional development. Recruiting and retaining employee talent for public schools has always been hard work, but something many districts have done passively.

But as regional shortages of teachers, bus drivers, food service workers, and paraeducators extended into a widespread crisis over the course of the pandemic, it’s clear that districts need to address their human capital issues more strategically and with an eye on longer-term sustainability. The quality of education—and kids’ learning recovery from the pandemic’s disruptions—depends on it.

With those stakes in mind, this two-part series dives into some key reasons why staffing is in a crisis state and explores some innovative, if unproven strategies for addressing it.

  • Part 1

    Staffing Our Schools Special Report Why Staffing Schools Is Harder Than Ever
    Why schools are struggling to recruit and retain staff and how it affects student learning.
    June 15, 2022
    Image of an empty desk.
    Angela Alfaro, a paraprofessional at Pascual LeDoux Academy in Denver, holds out a bag for students to drop their trash in after lunch, one of many duties she performs to help the classroom run smoothly.
    Laura Baker/Education Week and Dmitry Kovalchuk/iStock/Getty

    Part 2

    Staffing Our Schools Special Report Tackling the School Staffing Crisis
    The pros and cons of modifying schedules, expanding the use of contractors and emergency certified teachers, and more.
    June 29, 2022
    Image of innovative solutions around staffing.
    Laura Baker/Education Week and Andrii Yalanskyi/iStock/Getty