WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- The West Lafayette Community School Corporation starts classes Thursday, and it's beginning the school year with about 15 new educators. However, it isn't because they're hiring additional teachers.
Superintendent Rocky Killion said most of the positions opened due to teachers retiring, leaving the profession or moving on to states that pay educators more.
Killion said filling the jobs is becoming harder and harder due to a dwindling number of candidates. While positions are hard to fill across the board, he said secondary teachers in specialized topics, like vocational and foreign language, are the most difficult to hire.
He said the state isn't funding education enough to allow school to pay teachers well.
"We had a first-year teacher that we were very interested in, but they went to another state and are making $12,000 more in another state as a first-year teacher than what we're providing in the state of Indiana," Killion explained.
Killion said another reason for the problems are state mandates. He said it gives teachers less freedom when it comes to curriculum, instruction and assessment.
According to Killion, WLCSC has a rich history of long tenured teachers, but now, that just isn't the case.
"They can go to other states, make more money, have a better educational environment than what we can provide in the state of Indiana," he said.
Killion is predicting a push back from educators in the state of Indiana, and he's hoping groups like Red for Ed can influence change and fix the problem.
Killion said the corporation used to get stacks of applications. Now, they spend a lot of time recruiting.
Tuesday on News 18 this morning, we continue our back to school series with a look at 1:1 technology, and why Killion said the corporation has opted out of it.