San Jose

Several South Bay Schools Face a Teacher Shortage

As many student’s head back to classes, many schools in the South Bay are facing a shortage of credentialed teachers. 

Classes began Wednesday for the San Jose Unified School District and several school have not yet found qualified teachers for the new year.

"We have a severe teacher shortage," said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, superintendent for Santa Clara County.

County wide, there are almost 300 classrooms staffed with substitute teachers.

"Students achieve better when they have highly qualified teachers in the classroom," Dewan said.  "The most important thing for a child is what happens every day in a classroom."

Dewan says with the high cost of living in Silicon Valley, it’s become difficult to attract and retain teachers, especially those in special education.

Parents who have their children in San Jose schools are concerned for the education that they receive.

"I just don’t feel it’s fair for the kids," said parent Elizabeth James.

James has a seventh grade at Willow Glen Middle School and he has dealt with a substitute teacher for first month of last year.

"When they switch teachers back and forth, there’s no true curriculum," James said.

James says parents sometimes have to hire a tutor if their child has a substitute teacher to make sure they don’t fall behind in math.

"Long-term substitutes, even short-term substitutes can disrupt the education,"said DeWan.

In addition to having a shortage of teachers, there is also a shortage of substitute teachers.

In cases when teachers call in sick, one class is then combined with another class.

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