With school set to begin in one week, Northampton still needs 7 K-12 teachers. Given what is happening across the state, Northampton is faring better than other systems.
Since mid-July, teacher shortages have worried Virginia’s local school boards.
Spotsylvania County Superintendent Kelly Guempel described the division’s staffing needs as “severe,” with 114 vacant teaching positions a week before the start of the school year. Fairfax County Superintendent Michelle Reid informed parents the district was “working hard” to overcome a teacher shortage that’s left roughly 3% of classrooms unstaffed ahead of the fall semester.
As Richmond tries to fill 163 open teaching positions, Superintendent Jason Kamras described the number of vacancies as the worst he’s seen in nearly 30 years as an educator.
With grants and other incentives, Northampton is able to offer new teachers a $45k salary. With bonuses, the first year could be as high as $50k. The salary bump is a help, but retention and recruitment are fundamental aspects that most school systems will need to grapple with.
For Northampton, teacher retention may always be an issue. The Eastern Shore may be a good place to start a career, to get the tenure and experience needed to be hired at a larger, more lucrative system. Other, more active areas, with higher salaries, may have an edge and be more attractive to younger teachers.