The Great Resignation is coming to schools

MORE TEACHERSThe crisis in American schools since the start of the pandemic is an education crisis, but it is also a labor shortage. A superintendent in Boston taught a fourth grade class this week due to staff issues. Some Ohio School Districts reduced the degree requirements for substitute teachers and increased their To pay. Schools are desperate for nurses. Bus drivers are so hard to find that the ministries of transport and education announced this week that states can waive part of the commercial driver’s license requirement to address the shortage. Michigan Schools need more cafeteria workers.

This is the last facet of the Great Resignation. Workers in low-wage industries like hospitality and high-stress industries like healthcare have moved on to other jobs. Many education jobs fall into both categories on the salary and stress scales.

But in education, at least, these challenges precede the pandemic, said Becky Pringle, president of the National Education Association, the largest teachers’ union, in an interview with Nightly. Low salaries and resources for teachers – and low wages and limited career paths for other school workers – led them to stop en masse, she said.

Pringle’s NEA has been tracking the teacher shortage for years. A 2016 survey showed that only 4.2% of freshmen planned to major in education, the lowest point in 45 years.

And that was before the Covid. Layer in pandemic exhaustion, fear of the virus, mental health issues and new teaching models like distance and hybrid learning, and many educators have decided to leave the field, Pringle said.

Despite this, there was a sense of optimism in schools and among teachers this fall, Jane McAlevy, a senior policy researcher at UC Berkeley’s Labor Center, told Nightly. Among the school districts she works with as a union organizer, mainly large urban districts, many teachers were hoping for a better school year, with vaccines and funding from the Biden administration aimed at improving Covid safety in the communities. schools.

But when employees showed up in August, especially in poorer neighborhoods across the country, their buildings lacked essential pandemic tools such as extensive testing programs, HEPA filters, working windows to help. to functional ventilation and water faucets, McAlevey said.

“I remember having a phone call with the leader of the San Francisco Teachers Union… and they had the highest resignations in history of resignations recorded in the second week of school,” McAlevey said, adding that these resignations reflect what is happening in health care. , another mission-oriented field dominated by women.

The network of substitute teachers that schools have relied on for years has also frayed, another problem that precedes Covid. Amanda von Moos, executive director of Substantial Classrooms, an advocacy group for substitute teachers, said the system has not changed in 100 years.

“This is the original concert economy model,” said von Moos, “characterized by great autonomy and flexibility in deciding when and where to work, little or no training or support, a high degree professional isolation and no guarantee of income or professional growth Its main strength has been to keep costs down.

Teacher unions across the country have called for a more cautious approach to getting children back into classrooms, drawing criticism from parents and experts on both right and left.

McAlevy countered that educators agree that face-to-face learning is a better role model. But, she noted, epidemiologists have criticized a vaccine-only approach to reopening society, and that extends to schools, where more testing and mitigation is needed, in her opinion.

Teaching is hard work. And as classrooms across the country are learning, it’s not true that someone has to.

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– The killers of Arbery are sentenced to life imprisonment; no parole for the father, the son: Ahmaud Arbery’s family asked a judge to show no mercy in convicting three white men convicted of murder for chasing the fleeing black man in vans, interrupting and fatally killing him shot with a shotgun. During the sentencing hearing, Arbery’s sister recalled her brother’s humor, describing him as a positive thinker with a great personality. She told the judge that her brother had “sun-glistening” dark skin, thick, curly hair and an athletic build, factors that made him a target for men chasing him.

– DeSantis defends the expiration of stored Covid tests: Gov. Ron DeSantis has defended his administration’s decision to allow up to 1 million Covid-19 rapid test kits to expire, as he faces mounting criticism from Democrats for his handling of the Omicron push. Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie admitted at a press conference Thursday that the tests have expired, and DeSantis today sought to explain why the state had not distributed them. . DeSantis argued the stock was the result of a lack of demand at the end of 2021 and criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for not granting an extension to keep the tests eligible – which it did in September for three months.

– The Court of Appeal assesses the renewed challenge to the ban on abortion in Texas: A three-judge panel coldly greeted a request by Texas abortion clinics to send a challenge to the state’s controversial abortion ban to a lower court that had previously ruled to block the law. Instead, the 5th U.S. Court of Appeals panel said it would likely side with the state’s demand to let the Texas Supreme Court rule on the constitutionality of the ban – a move that could extend its application for months – and even suggested suspending a decision on who should hear the challenge until the fate of Roe v. Wade be decided later this year.

– The Treasury will send $ 1 billion in rent assistance to states and cities with high demand: The Treasury Department transfers more than $ 1.1 billion in pandemic rental aid to states and cities that quickly spent the first round of aid, clawing back aid that was not used . California, New Jersey, New York and the District of Columbia will each receive tens of millions of dollars from governments with low disbursement rates. Many cities, towns and tribes will also receive additional funds as the Treasury reallocates unspent funds from the first $ 25 billion of the $ 46.5 billion rent relief program authorized by Congress to keep people housed. during Covid-19.

– Meadows urges Supreme Court to rule quickly on Trump’s Jan.6 trial: Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who faces possible criminal charge for defying a subpoena to appear before a Jan.6 select committee, begs the Supreme Court to expedite its review of an action in court filed by Donald Trump – a move he says could get him, and other former Trump aides, off the hook. In a 34-page brief today, Meadows said he and other Trump aides subpoenaed by the Jan.6 committee are caught between a former president – who claims he can still argue the case. executive privilege – and Biden, who rejected Trump’s claims and ordered the release of key documents to congressional investigators.

– Court groped down complaint against former Governor Andrew Cuomo: An Albany criminal court today agreed to drop a forced contact claim against former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The complaint, stemming from allegations that Cuomo groped a former staff member, was the only charge against the former governor after a year in which he faced a long list of charges on various matters and resigned last August following complaints of sexual harassment.

BE PREPARED – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today that Western powers braced for the possibility of high-stakes talks with Russia failing, and that the alliance bolstered its military capabilities along its eastern flank and prepared potentially crippling economic sanctions if Moscow attacked Ukraine, David M. Herszenhorn and Jacopo Barigazzi write.

Stoltenberg’s remarks, following a videoconference by NATO foreign ministers, sent a specific warning to the Kremlin ahead of a week of diplomatic talks – in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna – which were sparked by a major Russian military mobilization on the Ukrainian border, and by threats from President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials of an invasion if the United States and NATO allies do not comply with a long list of demands for security.

“NATO will engage in a substantive and good faith dialogue with Russia,” Stoltenberg said in his opening speech at a press conference. “But we also need to be prepared for the possibility that diplomacy will fail.”

Stoltenberg, the alliance’s top civilian leader, was enigmatic when asked for details, but insisted NATO would be ready to face any threat.

COMEDY FITS JAN. 6 ONE YEAR LATER – The commemorations in Washington on Thursday in remembrance of the January 6 uprising may have taken on somber tones, but as Matt Wuerker shows us in the latest Weekend Wrap, political satire and cartoons have yet found ways to grapple with the events of the day and what they mean to our democracy.

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