Skubick: Teachers retiring in record numbers as schools struggle to fill vacancies

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan teachers are retiring at record high numbers, and the number of students going into the profession is down 70%, creating what one educator calls a state of disarray in our schools.  

Not only has COVID taken human lives, but the virus has also resulted in some teachers giving up their professional lives.

A new statewide survey of 5000 educators reveals retirements are up 44%, and college graduates with a teaching degree are down 70% over the last eight years.

To make matters worse, many teachers are set to retire.

“There are more than 18,000 eligible to retire right now and another 12,000 eligible for early retirement. many of them are considering it after the pandemic.  this would throw our K-12 system into a state of disarray that we have likely never seen before,” said Michigan Education Association President Paula Harbart.

72% of teachers are telling politicians and others they are getting no respect.

53% of teachers reflect they are not getting support and respect from parents.

That dissatisfaction is reflected in the data that 66% of current teachers would not recommend anyone going into the profession.

“Only 30% of teachers would recommend to people to go into this field,” said AFT President David Hecker.

COVID did not make every teacher retire, but for many, it was the proverbial last straw to get out.

“The problems that existed that caused them to want to leave the profession may have been amplified by COVID,” Launch Michigan President Adam Zemke.

Perhaps with the governor signing a bill for record spending of 8$,700 to every schoolchild might convince teachers headed out the door to turn around a stay a little longer.

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