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Muncie Schools combat state-wide teacher shortage

MUNCIE, INDIANA. — Since the end of the Coronavirus pandemic, Indiana has found one demand that they just can’t fill; teachers. This state-wide teacher shortage has been in full swing for about two or three years now, and there hasn't been much improvement.

“It left a lot of schools scrambling,” MCS Communications Director, Andy Klotz said.

But, it’s not just the virus, or school security, or even censorship in the classroom. What current and future teachers are really concerned with is salary. 

“I think students who are in college look at teacher compensation, and I think it’s important that legislators remain steadfast in making sure that teachers are compensated well,” Ben Williams, Principal of Northside Middle School, said. 

Compensation. That’s the problem. The ongoing teachers shortage is hitting schools hard, and Muncie is no exception. At Northside Middle School alone, there are five positions in need of filling, and even more are needed at other schools, such as Southview and Grissom Elementary. That’s why this local school corporation is taking more steps to ensure that their administration is getting exactly what they deserve.

“Just recently, our school board has approved a new program that allows us to provide a $5000 stipend to any teacher certified through the state of Indiana. [The requirements are any teacher] deemed highly effective either in our district or an accompanying district that wants to come in and teach at one of these two schools in our system, that have had some retention problems over the last couple of years,” Klotz said.  

On top of that, Muncie is implementing a referral bonus for teachers in the MCS corporation. Any staff that brings in a teacher to work in the district will receive a one-time bonus. And on top of that, they’re offering an incentive to bring in more substitute teachers.

“What we have done is we have added another program that has been put in place since the start of the semester. If you are a certified teacher or a retired teacher, we are paying $210 a day for those people to come into the classroom, which is quite frankly, that’s more than double what other school districts are paying,” Klotz said. 

If the MCS School board approves a measure proposal, Muncie will rank among the highest paying public schools in the state, with a starting pay of $51,000. Despite all efforts to bring in more staff, Muncie still has gaps to fill. They’re in need of instructional aids, special needs assistants, and interventionists, amongst other positions. To apply to any of these positions, visit the Muncie Community Schools website.

Contact Olivia Sloniker at omlsoniker@bsu.edu with any questions.