Friday, November 13, 2009

Teacher Glut across the US

Across the country, droves of people like Lackey are unable to find teaching jobs, in large part because the economy is forcing school systems to slash positions. The teacher shortage that many feared just a few years ago has turned into a teacher glut.

Since last fall, school systems, state education agencies, technical schools and colleges have shed about 125,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At the same time, many teachers who had planned to retire or switch jobs are staying on because of the recession, and many people who have been laid off in other fields are trying to carve out second careers as teachers or applying to work as substitutes to make ends meet.

In Texas, the Round Rock school district had more than 5,000 applications for 322 teacher openings this year and saw its pool of subs almost double to 1,200, about 2 1/2 times as many as it needs even on a particularly bad day during flu season, said spokeswoman Joylynn Occhiuzzi.

"It is a tougher job market, and you get applicants that you might not normally have because of the economy," she said.