‘It’s all hands on deck’: Wilson County Schools struggles with staffing shortages
School leaders said they’ve never seen special education staffing issues like this.
LEBANON, Tenn. (WSMV) - School leaders in Wilson County said they’ve never seen special education staffing shortages like what’s happening right now.
The school year starts on Tuesday, but there are eight special education classrooms that don’t have teachers or aids to work in them.
Wilson County calls its program Exceptional Education and focuses on building relationships with students. Those can’t be created without permanent teachers in place.
Program director Tracey Burge said this shortage has been caused by many people leaving the education field since the pandemic.
“I will say I have not given up hope because I know those special education teachers are out there,” Burge said. “I know we have so many, it’s in the hearts of so many. We just have to bring them back in and let them know that we are going to support them.”
They are all hands on deck to meet their needs on the first day of classes, Burge said. Teachers are taking on larger case loads and some administrators are even going back to the classroom to help until more people can be hired.
“We make it to where it is accessible for (students) to go into the general education classrooms, participate in extracurriculars, and live just as fulfilling of a life as their peers,” Burge said. “We need (teacher and staff) who are willing to do that job that they help us put it all together and get through the day.”
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