TOLEDO, Ohio — A nationwide teacher shortage is hitting home here in Toledo. Toledo Public Schools tell WTOL 11 they have around 150 vacant positions.
"You just have to be very creative in finding ways to fill those positions, whether it be staffing or moving things around," said Lori Reffert, Talent Acquisitions Coordinator at Toledo Public Schools.
Reffert is in charge of recruitment and hiring for Toledo Public Schools. Over the past few years, her job has become more challenging, with less teachers coming into the district each year.
"Unfortunately education is not a 'get rich vocation.' It's not about the money it's about what you love to do," said Reffert.
Kevin Dalton with the Toledo Federation of Teachers said the district has the highest number of vacancies right now than they have in the past three years. They are continuing to work with local universities to set up programs that recruit teachers early on.
But with students continuing to come into the TPS district, vacancies are created somewhat naturally. Long term substitutes and alternative state licensing are short-term solutions that are working right now, but a long-term solution is unclear at this point.
"Obviously it's a much needed job to do, because without teachers every other profession would not be possible. And that's something we really need to look at nationwide," said Reffert.
As far as where the district goes from here, it's pretty much up to them to get creative to make sure those needs are filled. But they hope the issue will be addressed nationwide.