NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Metro Nashville magnet high school Pearl-Cohn is without more than half of its math department.
The school should have five math teachers for its 630 students, but it started the school year with only two.
"There's a sense of urgency for sure. It's something we're talking about every day,” said Metro School Board member Christiane Buggs.
Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School is the only entertainment magnet high school in the country and still must meet state requirements for STEM instruction.
"We're sending substitutes, we're sending central office staff, we've had unfortunately some of the classrooms have to double up or take on more of the students," said Buggs.
Buggs, a former math teacher, spoke candidly about the difficulties in hiring teachers in these fields.
“This is unfortunately not just a Nashville or a Tennessee issue,” said Buggs. “Content specialists in the STEM field are not necessarily going into education.”
Metro Schools shared the reasons behind the shortage in a statement, reading in part “One of the teachers hired was a no-show, another teacher decided to postpone coming to complete doctoral studies in another state, and one position was never filled.”
The district is working with area universities to determine if there are professors available and willing to help support math classes. Buggs said the district has received a waiver from the state to allow for this.