RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools is dealing with a massive teacher shortage with classes starting in less than two weeks.
At the beginning of August, the district was looking for nearly 100 teachers to hire. Now, there are 52 openings left.
A. Ramone Moore has been with Richmond Public Schools for nearly 20 years.
“We need more funding for educators,” said Moore. “We need more funding for teachers.”
Moore believes that more people would apply for teaching positions if the pay wasn’t so low.
Moore, the Richmond Education Association President, shared the impact that low pay has on the school system.
“Well the shortage in general in the state is because teachers don’t get paid a lot,” Moore said. “The average teacher in Virginia that has worked for 20 years don’t even make $50,000.”
He says that many people teach because it’s their passion, but reality also comes into play.
“We all teach because we love it, however, we have student loans, we have families, and we other responsibilities that we need to make our lives amenable,” Moore told 8News.
RPS says they have 21 open positions at the elementary level, 22 at the middle school level and there’s a need for nine special education teachers. The district also needs multiple bilingual teachers.
“Teachers are very essential. Teachers are the ones that make the world go round, if there wasn’t teachers, true learning would not take place,” Moore said.
As a last resort, Moore says RPS will cover the unfilled positions with long-term substitute teachers or even retired teachers.
Moore encourages anyone with an interest in teaching to apply on the Richmond Public School’s website.