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Shortage of teachers impacts some Northeast Ohio school districts

A shortage of teachers is impacting schools in Ohio, as well as across the country ahead of the new year.

CLEVELAND — A shortage of teachers is impacting schools in Northeast Ohio, as well as across the country.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is just 14 days away from classes starting and has 150 open teacher positions.

"We have noticed that we do not have as many candidates," said Lori Ward, CMSD chief talent & equity officer.

Since June, CMSD has added more than 100 teachers, but many still remain available.

"We are validating literally hour-by-hour where our vacancies are what kind of opportunities still exist," said Ward.

The shortage was noticed during the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of college graduates entering the field remain an issue.

"There's been a teachers shortage for years, what you're seeing now is that it's reached a tipping point," said president of the American Federation of Teachers Randi Weingarten.

During an interview with 3News in December 2021, Willoughby-Eastlake City School Superintendent Stephen Thompson said there wasn't anyone to fill their open positions. Thompson told 3News there was a shortage of staff across the board. We reached out to Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools for an updated comment, but have not heard back.

Mark Williamson with the Akron Public Schools (APS) told 3News the shortage is impacting their district as well. Williamson says there are 69 open teaching positions within the district.

The teacher shortage isn't impacting every district.

The Shaker Heights City School District, the Parma City School District and the Mentor Public Schools told 3News that they haven't had a problem finding teachers.

The CMSD is actively reviewing applications for their open teaching positions.

"The teaching profession is still a great career path for individuals who want to impact the next generation," said Ward.

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