Missouri Board of Education President Charlie Shields wants the state to check into whether a bonus can be given to K-12 teachers to help keep them around next school year. During today’s board meeting, Shields says he wants the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to do some “serious” exploring of what measures the agency can take to retain public school teachers.
“I think we have to do something very bold around this or we’re going to start next year in a really bad position when it comes to teachers,” he says.
Missouri already has a lingering shortage of teachers and COVID-19 has made an even larger dent, in part due to increased teacher workload stress.
“I can tell you, you know in the healthcare world, we are doing the exact same thing with nurses right now,” says Shields, a former Missouri Senate President. “Retention is a big deal and I think to the extent that we can encourage teachers to stay in the profession, to delay retirement or whatever so that we get next year started I think is going to be really important.”
Shields, of northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph, is the CEO of Truman Medical Center in Kansas City.
Kari Monsees, deputy commissioner for finance with DESE, says he will do some more checking on what can be done with federal coronavirus dollars.
Missouri has about 70,000 pre-K-12 public school teachers.
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