Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Teacher shortage hurts CCSD’s kids

There are several consequences of the Clark County School District’s annual teacher drought. The shortage of applicants may lead to the hiring of more borderline teachers, who look a lot better than many of the alternatives. The powerful people in Las Vegas and in the Nevada Legislature are willing to gamble with the education of other people’s children.

This leads us to another consequence. Every classroom must have a teacher, or an adult body with at least 60 college credit hours and some minimal survival training. The latter are called substitute teachers. Many of these substitute teachers do amazing work and deserve to be paid much more, but some lack the proper skills for the classes they end up assigned to.

In 2012-13, there were 350 substitutes in CCSD classrooms. Three hundred of those classrooms had substitutes for the entire school year. When a substitute is going to be in a classroom for entire year, the district policy is to try to get a licensed teacher for the position. Some substitutes will quit during the year, along with an estimated 200 teachers.

The burden does not just fall on the students in the classrooms with substitutes. Some classes end up with more students, and some teachers take on extra classes. These are not ideal situations, and Nevada will feel the consequences for years to come.

If you read the comments under the teacher shortage articles online, you will see ignorance, accusations and hatred. Not all children in Nevada are created equal, and the right to pursue happiness is alienable in Las Vegas.

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