(Network Indiana) — Schools all across Indiana are experiencing teacher shortages as more teachers are either testing positive for coming into close contact with COVID-19.
The shortages are actually a bigger reason for schools shutting down and going to virtual learning the risk of exposure to the virus, says Keith Gambill who is president of the Indiana State Teachers Association.
“We certainly know the situation is dire,” he told WISH-TV.
Gambill said the situation is so dire in some districts that they are changing their coronavirus quarantine rules so that some teachers and substitute teachers don’t have to quarantine just so they can meet the minimum staff requirements.
“From quarantining for 14 days if they have had a close contact to as long as they remain asymptomatic, they may report to work,” said Gambill. “So that tells you how different this has made things for folks.”
“Some have shifted to closing some buildings in order to use some faculty and staff in other buildings to serve as substitute teachers in that building in order to keep some level of face-to-face instruction going on in those particular facilities,” he added.
More than 1,700 schools in Indiana are dealing with at least one positive COVID test this week, whether it be a student or a staff member. Gambill urges parents to “be patient” as schools navigate through the pandemic.