Watertown currently has 15 open teaching positions. [Superintendent Jeff] Danielsen said every year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve been competing with not only other districts, as well as staff burnout and retirements, but losing teachers to other industries with higher pay.
“I think people realized that teachers can do about anything, so they are good candidates for other fields. Everybody is short on workforce right now,” Danielsen said.
…Sioux Falls has hired 88 teachers for next year, and [HR chief Becky] Dorman said they still have 41 openings currently. That could tick up a bit in the coming weeks, as current teachers decide whether or not to sign another contract to stay with the district another year [Cooper Seamer, “Teacher Openings Remain High in South Dakota Headed into Summer,” KSFY, 2023.05.15].
Teachers can do about anything… I like the sound of that, Superintendent Danielsen! But that’s all the more reason to remember that when we talk about competing for talented teachers, we have to offer wages that compete across fields, not just with the pay other schools and states are offering teachers.