Illinois has been facing a shortage of teachers for a number of years now, and the problem is getting worse.
According to a recent study by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 88 percent of schools districts reported problems with teacher shortages, with 77 percent of them saying that the problem is getting worse. Substitute teachers are apparently even harder to find, with 96 percent of superintendents reporting issues with finding substitutes.
A new driver of the crisis has been educator burnout due to COVID-19 related issues. Forty-nine percent of superintendents said that COVID-19 has increased teacher turnover in their schools.
According to the study, the shortage has led to more than 400 classes being cancelled, and more than 300 being online, due to the inability to find qualified teachers. Approximately 2,000 teaching positions are currently either unfilled or filled by someone not qualified.