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Santa Cruz County schools dealing with staffing shortages

SANTA CRUZ, Calif (KION-TV) - Teachers and staffing shortages are still a problem nationwide, even after two years since the pandemic began.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education says that some of its school districts still see shortages on their campuses. But they are in a better position this year than the previous years.  

Christopher Correa is excited for the new year. He'll be in 6th grade this year and can't wait for school to start. His favorite subject in school is PE.

“You can go run, and it's so fun to play with the other guys,” said Correa.

While Christopher is ready to head into the classroom, there are still challenges for school districts in Santa Cruz County.

“In working with all 10 of the districts in Santa Cruz County,” said Dr. Faris Sabbah, the superintendent of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, “We're finding there are some teacher shortages and support staff shortages in schools.”

Some of the most challenging spots to fill include special education, math, and specialized teachers, such as music. But the Office of Education said its also experiencing a shortage in instructional aids, particularly in special education. 

 KION checked in with some of those districts to see how they're doing

While it's staffed on teachers, Santa Cruz City Schools told KION, the biggest concern now is finding substitutes. Especially if another Covid-19 outbreak happens. 

The Office of Education is working to meet the need.

“We've been working together to be able to recruit substitute teachers that would be available for the districts,” said Dr. Sabbah. “We've encouraged people to reach out to us.

KION asked the Soquel Union Elementary School District to see how it's doing for the new year.

“We are nearly fully staffed in our district,” said Superintendent Scott Turnbull. “We did have a lot of positions to fill over the summer, and a lot of work was put into the recruitment.”

Superintendent Turnball said there are still some spots to fill, but his district is in good shape.

Turnball adds some of the positions it needs to fill, including a school psychologist and a first-grade teacher at Main Street Elementary, which opened last week.

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46


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