DES MOINES, Iowa — After a year of virtual classes and COVID-19 restrictions, this school year is back to the full swing of things.
But the pandemic isn't the only challenge school's are having to overcome as last years staffing shortages continue into this school year
Coy Marquardt, the associate executive director of the Iowa State Education Association, told Local 5 that it's a challenging time for public education in our state and country.
He says the academic year has already proven especially tough as far as finding teachers and substitutes goes.
"There are many districts starting the school year without full teaching staffs. In addition, there are districts almost all districts not all but many are starting the year without our full support professionals either," Marquardt said.
He also attributes the teacher shortage to problems such as funding and education legislation changes
"Iowa has had a long history, and we're proud of the tradition we have in public education," Marquardt said. "I think that that tradition has been put in jeopardy over the past several years with chronic under funding of our schools and gutting of collective bargaining laws that took away rights of educators as well."
Marquardt adds that now is an important time for parents to be involved in their child's school district by supporting their teachers. He says educators, like parents, want the best experience and education for their students.
ISEA says last years' loosened requirements on eligibility for substitute teaching are likely here to stay as the need continues.