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Schools pressed as teachers leave classrooms

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

State education leaders are calling it the Great Resignation, and the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help keep teachers in the classroom.

As the school year begins districts across the country and in Missouri continue to deal with teacher shortages. According to the National Education Association, the average starting teacher salary for the year 2020-2021 was $41,770.

The NEA says the average starting teacher salary in Missouri, is $33,234. Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven said salary is one of the reasons schools are seeing a shortage in educators but other things are contributing, too.

“People are really looking at each of their careers and thinking about, ‘What is it that I want to do and how I want to spend my time?'” Vandeven said. “Part of the harder piece to really address and that is various stress levels that we see. And I think teachers want to do such a good job all the time.”

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says about a quarter of districts in Missouri have moved to four-day weeks, in part to attract and retain teachers.

Article Topic Follows: Education
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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.

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