Nationwide teacher shortage plaguing Lowcountry schools


With just over a month until class is back in session, a nationwide teacher shortage is having an impact on our local districts.

As of right now, the Charleston County School District is looking for 58 more teachers.

That's compared to the 159 that were needed at this time last year. CCSD officials said they're better off, but there's still a need.

"We're all struggling to find teachers because of the shift in the pipeline of teachers," said CCSD Chief Human Resources Officer William Briggman.

Working in HR, Briggman said he can see the need for teachers first hand.

"We're seeing such a decline in South Carolina, if I have it correct there's about a 24% decline in state students who are majoring in education," said Briggman.

Briggman said to combat the teacher shortage issue from a district standpoint, they're starting a new 3-year plan to raise salaries.

That plan starts this year with over a $2,000 increase for all teachers.

"We are probably paying the most in the state. I don't know that for sure because budgets were just being passed," said Briggman.

CCSD has their teacher salaries starting at $37,404. By 2020 the district hopes that will be $40,000.

Greenville County Schools is the largest district in the state with their starting teacher salary at $35,768.

Dorchester District 2 salaries start at $36,500.

Dorchester District 4 had 2017-2018 starting salary at $35,311, the district also offers a signing bonus and loan forgiveness.

District officials also said CERRA (Center for Educator Recruiting, Retention, and Advancement) to offer more incentives. Berkeley County School District has a starting teacher salary at $36,360.

When it comes to CCSD, they have the most open positions in our area, but said they're competing not just against other districts.

"We're competing with the private industry in Charleston right now," said Briggman.

As the state's second largest district, Briggman says the CCSD averages about a 14% annual turnover rate; averaging about 600 new teachers district wide every year.

Briggman said he is confident they will get the remaining 58 teaching spots filled.Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved. 

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