More than one and a half million students fled public K-12 schools by the 2020-21 school year, compared with the year before. This sharp decline in enrollment has not been the only blow to public schools. Education employee shortages abound in all 50 states.
The teacher shortage that had been increasing for years has been exacerbated, now with the third school year affected by COVID-19 underway. Shortages of school staff — ranging from paraeducators, before and after school workers, custodians, crossing guards, and bus drivers — are helping wreak havoc on daily operations.
Despite the decreased student enrollment, teacher and staff shortages have outpaced the downturn. And they aren’t going away anytime soon. As of July 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 460,000 job