MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Another 27 teachers have resigned from Muncie Community Schools, bringing the total up to nearly 100 since last September.
A good number of those jobs have been filled, but there are dozens of openings and school starts in a month.
Muncie Teachers Association President Pat Kennedy said having about 20 openings is not abnormal this time of year. There are 21 teacher jobs on the school website, but several postings are for multiple teachers.
She said the trend of teachers leaving could immediately hurt children in the classroom. School is just weeks away from beginning in Muncie, but 27 teachers officially resigned from their posts in the district Friday.
Kennedy said nearly a quarter of the teaching staff is gone since September.
“It’s the numbers that are concerning. And heartbreaking, quite frankly,” she said.
The school district has worked to fill these posts, including a handful of positions on Friday, but a couple dozen openings remain on the website.
Kennedy said at least four more resignations are coming.
She offered one of the major reasons for the mass exodus: Teachers haven’t received a pay raise in 10 years.
“I know of two individuals, teachers who had maybe 10 years experience. They moved to a corporation close to us and immediately their salaries went up $7,000,” she said. “That’s substantial for a teacher.”
Kennedy said she’s noticed the district’s quality of teachers dropping. She said some of the teaching openings weren’t filled by certified teachers last year but with substitutes.
While the job postings now ask for certified teachers, she’s concerned it will happen again and will hurt children’s education.
“It’s not to say that some of substitute teachers don’t do the best they can. There’s a difference between a certified teacher and someone who perhaps has a couple hours in college, and they become the teacher long-term,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said she hopes things will change soon because otherwise this trend will only continue, and teachers will continue to leave Muncie.
No parents would speak with 24-Hour News 8 on-camera, but they did echo the concerns Kennedy raised.
The school district did not respond to a 24-Hour News 8 request for comment Friday but on Thursday said, with three elementary schools, closing the number of resignations is blown out of proportion.
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