EducationNewsThe SouthSider

Missouri works to recruit more teachers amid shortages

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri school officials are boosting teacher recruitment efforts as schools struggle to fill jobs.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that $700,000 will be spent on a new program, known as TeachMO.org, which will act as a centralized hub for prospective teachers to explore the profession, access free resources and receive support in applying to educator preparation programs.

Education officials also are planning to invest $50 million over the next three years on teacher recruitment and retention grants and other programs designed to get more teachers into the state’s public schools.

Pay raise efforts remain stalled, though. Although the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has outlined a plan to boost the state’s base pay for teachers above its current level of $25,000, lawmakers and Gov. Mike Parson have not earmarked the funding needed to bring the figure more in line with surrounding states.

The average teacher attrition rates for the past six years are more than 11%.

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