Help Wanted | Delaware school districts facing shortages as new school year approaches

Sean Greene - WDEL

Most Delaware school districts are on a pathway to returning to traditional 5-day-a-week, in-person learning this fall, but some are still in need of a few good adults.

Brandywine Superintendent Lincoln Hohler told his school board Monday night about a Job Fair taking place on July 30, saying that as in-person needs return to normal, many key district staffing positions aren't keeping up with the student enrollment.

"People are looking to bring in extra counselors, psychologists, teachers, and academic tutors. It's supply and demand, there wasn't enough pre-COVID, there's even less now."

Between December 2020 and March 2021, Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act (CRSSA).

For Brandywine, that brought in about $36 million, money aimed towards helping stop what has been called "learning loss" from the amount of virtual learning over the past 18 months.

Hohler said when you combine "learning loss" with staff attrition, it is leading to a problem.

"If you remember pre-COVID, we were facing a teacher shortage in Delaware. There were holes in just about every district in Delaware, it's only gotten worse. It comes down to that basic supply and demand problem. There is a huge demand now for teachers, educators, and people to answer the call to change career and become a teacher."

Hohler said those aren't the only positions that Brandywine hopes to begin to fill on July 30.

"Please, if you know anyone who is interested, or could serve as a substitute, a paraprofessional, has a teaching degree and wants to exercise that degree, bus drivers, bus aides, custodians, we are looking for individuals to support our students when they return to us 5-days-a-week, full-time, starting at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year."

The Brandywine Job Fair runs from 10-2 p.m. on Friday, July 30 at Mount Pleasant Elementary School's Multi-Purpose Room located at 500 Duncan Road.

They're not alone, the Appoquinimink School District's website lists 15 Teaching/Professional positions open, with four more paraprofessional vacancies.

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