Skip to main content
Full Menu
National News

Teacher shortages abruptly close schools

New York Teacher

Schools around the United States are canceling in-person instruction with very little notice due to staffing issues, including teacher shortages and staff fatigue, exacerbated by the pandemic. These sudden closures affected at least 858 school districts and 8,692 individual schools in November, according to Burbio, an organization that tracks school district websites.

The stress of teaching during the pandemic has pushed many educators to resign or retire. In September alone, 30,000 public school teachers gave their notice, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Some closures are happening with as little as two or three days’ notice. On Nov. 9 and 10, three districts in Washington state announced schools would be closed on Nov. 12 due to staffing shortages. On Thanksgiving eve, Nov. 17, it was announced that public schools in Ann Arbor, Michigan, would be closed the following Monday and Tuesday, extending the holiday break.

“We are doing everything in our power to keep our schools open and to maximize in-person learning opportunities for our students. At the same time, we are facing a critical staffing shortage, like districts across the country, that impacts our ability to safely operate our schools,” the Denver Public School District announced after three public schools in the district switched to remote learning and another three canceled classes completely.

CBS, Nov. 12
NPR, Nov. 23