ENC schools impacted by staffing shortages

School Watch

WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — It’s across the board, school personnel shortages.

“Across the state, we’re feeling a lot of shortages, bus drivers is something we’ve struggled with,” said Sarah Stalls, Martin County Schools Public Information & Community Engagement Coordinator. “With some counties now using federal money to raise salaries that also makes it harder to attract other bus drivers.”

Beaufort County is one of those districts that raised bus driver salaries by $5 and added a $50 stipend to substitute teachers’ salary pay.

“Since the board approved our recommendation to add a stipend into those salaries, we have seen a greater number of applicants,” said Matthew Cheeseman, Beaufort County Schools Superintendent.

Despite the increases in some areas, they’re still seeing teacher shortages.

“We’ve had math and English positions with $10,000 incentives without any applicants because they just aren’t out there,” Cheeseman said. “Sometimes we have to combine classrooms because we are short on adults.”

Cafeteria workers are sometimes hard to come by in Martin County.

“We are even looking for substitutes in our cafeteria, that’s something people don’t think about,” Stalls said. “I’ve even seen our superintendent served meals.”

Both school systems say the priority remains to make sure students are there to learn.

“We try our best to keep the students from ever being impacted any more than we can,” Stalls said. “When they see these people in other positions, we hope it sets an example of teamwork. If anything trying to spin it in a positive light if there can’t be a positive to it.”

“We want to make sure we provide high-quality education to our students each and every day,” Cheeseman said. “Whether it be school instruction, school nutrition, school transportation.”

Click here, to find openings for Martin County Schools and here for Beaufort County Schools.

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