RPS working to address major teacher shortage by start of school year

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Public Schools has an extreme shortage of teachers for the upcoming school year. The school system currently has 108 vacant teacher positions.

A. Ramon Moore, President of the Richmond Education Association, is confident, however, that the school system will get these positions filled. He said that he has faith that no student will be left without a teacher come the start of the school year on Sep. 5.

“There will be a teacher in that class the first day of school,” Moore said.

Despite the city’s struggles, Moore said he is hopeful that they fill the necessary gaps. He said that aging buildings and low pay have always been factors when it comes to teacher shortages in the city.

“Working in older buildings and not having the things that you would need and want as a first-year teacher, but you have to love what you do,” Moore said.

In 2016, there were 47 open positions compared to the higher numbers this year.

On July 17, Interim Superintendent Tommy Kranz said that hiring teachers is a top priority.

“It’s huge, it’s significant and we’ll be on top of it first thing in the morning,” Kranz said.

This shortage comes on the heels of the school system entering a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the state to have every city school fully accredited in 10 years.

If the state doesn’t meet that goal, they can elect a non-voting member to the school board.

The MOU also states that if the school system doesn’t comply with the State Department of Education there can possibly be financial penalties.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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