Richland County School District One facing teacher shortages ahead of back to school

The district currently has 206 openings heading into the new school year. 97 Elementary, 67 middle schools, and 42 high schools.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 5:48 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - School Districts across South Carolina are struggling to find qualified teachers.

Richland County School District One is one of those districts facing the tall task of filling their teacher vacancies with the school year beginning on August 16th.

The district has 206 openings heading into the new school year with 97 elementary, 67 middle school, and 42 high school jobs still needing to be filled.

Richland County School District Two started classes on August 8 and was short 89 teachers.

Some parents and residents in the district have mixed reactions to the lack of educators in Richland One.

In the 2021-2022 school year, Lexington County School District One and Richland County School District Two had fewer schools with more teachers while Richland County School District One had the opposite with more schools and fewer teachers.

“We would not be able to have our classroom sizes as quite as small as what we have typically done, especially in those elementary grade levels, said Dr. Richardson.

Richland County School District One’s Coordinator of Recruitment and Retention Dr. Felecia Richardson stated the reason for accommodating students with fewer teachers is because of small classroom settings.

“When we look at our numbers, we have to consider that we have a lot of neighborhood schools and in having neighborhood schools, we require more teachers.” Dr. Richardson said.

Outside of the teacher vacancies, Dr. Richardson said she’s looking forward to the energy level in the schools and for teachers to bring fun back into the classroom once the school year begins.

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