On the Beat in Bluffton

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Panel studying teacher shortage meets for the last time

A committee chaired by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz met for the last time Monday, making recommendations to stem the loss of teachers in Indiana.

Among the proposals from the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Recruitment and Retention of Excellent Educators:

• Establish a mentor program for beginning teachers. (NOTE: The state once had a mentor program, but it was dropped after funding dried up. Some school districts, including the Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District, operate their own mentor programs for beginning teachers).

• Identify and fund professional development for educators and administrators.

• Recruit and retain a diverse teacher workforce.

"Great teaching and great learning go hand in hand," Ritz said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing the work of the commission and to the support of the Indiana General Assembly and the State Board of Education for these strategies developed by educators to address Indiana's teacher shortage."

Only Bluffton-Harrison in Wells County has a vacant teaching position, according to the school districts' websites. Bluffton-Harrison is seeking a seventh-grade English/language arts teacher.

Neither Northern Wells Community Schools nor Southern Wells Community Schools have open teaching positions, according to their websites.

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