Nevada Public Radio Listen Live

"Fresh Air"
Facebook Twitter Follow Nevada Public Radio

Support Nevada Public Radio
July 28, 2005
Podcasts

ARCHIVE: Teacher Shortage

Listen

According to Clark County School District Officials the district is in crisis. It needs 500 more teachers in less than a month. As KNPR Ky Plaskon reports, its not just the result of the districts phenomenal growth.

SOUND: Kids singing

PLASKON: At the opening of a recent Clark County School District meeting Children danced, mariachis performed the national anthem.

SOUND: Singing

PLASKON: They prayed.

SOUND: Prayer T04 :17

PLASKON: And then the School Districts Dr. George Ann Rice stood up and made it clear they need all the help they can get. She warned the Board of Trustees.

RICE: We face a real challenge. This year we have had resignations of 1,013 and retirements of 300 which makes 6 percent of our teaching force has resigned and a total of 8 percent if you consider our retirements and resignations.

PLASKON: While the 6 percent resignation rate sounds bad, its less than half of the national turnover rate of 15.7 percent according to the Cable Industry's Education Foundation. A half million teachers resign nationally every year, according to the foundation, most leave because there is a lack of professional development, poor leadership and low pay. But that's not why they leave Las Vegas. The Clark County School District has been surveying teachers about why they leave for years. Dr Rice brought that knowledge to the meeting.

RICE: The problem is housing. Every other problem that we have faced we have said if we can work faster if can work more creatively, but the housing issue is hitting us both directions. We have candidates who can't afford to live here and we are being hit on the other side. Without community support we will not be able to solve this issue.

PLASKON: Though it doesn't look good, she says there are points of light.

RICE: So many times our board meetings are very negative events and I just wanted to bring out this very positive aspect to our meeting.

PLASKON: The good deals for teachers include the City of Las Vegas offering 16 down payments on houses for teachers. The mortgage company Fannie Mae and Citibank have approached the school district to help too said Dr Rice.

RICE: We want to work with you and that if we can get certain people guarantee to you that.

PLASKON: They have set up credit counseling for teachers too. The Chamber of Commerce has started what is says is a unique program. 82 volunteers call more than 2-thousand teacher recruits every year to convince them this is a good place to work. Sometimes the volunteers find roommates for the teachers and jobs for their spouses.

RICE: So they have picked people up at the airport and driven them around to help them find apartments and we would be dead in the water without people like Steve Antuna and I would like to introduce them to the board.

PLASKON: Even the federal government is helping to find a solution said Rice.

RICE: This is Blair Lund - came forward on his own and he is from HUD and he is telling us how other places have taken land and are working with developers and building multiple family homes for their teachers.

PLASKON: The Santa Clara School District and the University of California have built housing for their teachers she said. The Clark County School District met with those entities this month to consider similar housing projects. Mary Ella Holloway, President of the Clark County Education Association says that's not favorable.

HOLLOWAY: Who wants to come here to live in some kind of housing for teachers. They want to live like everyone else. Pay teachers what they deserve.

PLASKON: She says the national average starting teacher pay is 38 thousand, here its 27. But without higher pay or affordable housing, the district has started recruiting teachers overseas. The National Education Association predicts the nation will need 2-million more teaches over the next 10 years. Currently 20 percent of all new hires leave the classroom within three years and in urban districts 50 percent leave profession during their first five years.

Ky Plaskon, News 88-9 KNPR

See discussion rules.

Archives

Apr 4, 2009 | Drug Donation Program
Nevada lawmakers are debating the creation of a program that would help cancer patients get expensive prescription drugs for less.

Mar 13, 2009 | Budget Wrangling
As state lawmakers wrestle with Nevada's multi-billion-dollar budget deficit, there are several plans afoot aimed at softening the next economic bust.

Mar 2, 2009 | Autism
The cost of treating children with autism can be $24,000 to $40,000 per child per year according to the Autism Coalition of Nevada. A bill before the Nevada Legislature aims to help families pay for the care.

Feb 16, 2007 | Chinese New Year
This weekend marks a celebration of Chinese New Year. KNPR's Rick Andrews reports on how the holiday is being celebrated by the valley's growing Asian community.

Dec 7, 2006 | Food and Beverage
The economy of scale for food and beverage operations in Las Vegas means any edge in efficiency is real money. Rick Andrews reports on a software product scoring with food and beverage managers looking at the bottom line...and what you're likely to order.

Nov 15, 2006 | Global Gaming Expo
The Global Gaming Expo trade show and conference got underway Tuesday in Las Vegas. Vendors showcase their latest wares including new slot machines.

Nov 1, 2006 | Stardust Memories
When it opened in 1958 the Stardust was the world's largest hotel. Now, after more than 48 years, it's closed.

Sep 27, 2006 | Nevada Northern Railway
The 'Nevada Northern' is celebrating its centenial anniversary. News 88.9's Rick Andrews went on a tour of the museum with executive director Mark Bassett.

Jun 30, 2006 | Standing Up for Ringo
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley tells the story of how she saw the Beatles in Las Vegas in August 1964.

Jun 29, 2006 | Sports Supplements
From fortified cereals to energy drinks to serious sports nutrition, people are willing to spend lots money to supplement their diets. Rick Andrews reports on the business of sports supplements.

May 25, 2006 | Love
Wednesday Cirque du Soleil provided a glimpse of their much anticipated show based on the music of the Beatles. Flo Rogers reports on Love.

May 24, 2006 | Telecommunications
A Senate telecommunications bill currently being considered includes provisions on most everything, but some worry that controversial measures will derail the entire package.

May 16, 2006 | Nanotech
Universities across the country are spending millions to expand nano technology research...manipulating molecules 10,000 times smaller than a human hair. Rick Andrews reports on nano research at UNLV.

Apr 24, 2006 | Earthscope
Hualapai Mountain Park, near Kingman, has been chosen by the National Science Foundation to be home to a seismic monitoring station. Gillian Ferris Kohl reports.

Apr 18, 2006 | Anatomical Donation for Science
In the second of two reports exploring innovative medical facilities in the Valley, Rick Andrews visits the Medical Education and Research Institute of Nevada in Henderson.

Apr 12, 2006 | Immigration Reform Stalled
Immigration legislation in the U.S. Senate is at a standstill. Many in the Republican Party blame Nevada Democrat, Senator Harry Reid for the impasse. Jill Morrison reports from Capitol Hill.

Apr 1, 2006 | New Plans for Nellis
The first of April brings news that a large piece of military land in Las Vegas may be redeveloped.

Mar 28, 2006 | Test Site Worker Compensation
Senator Harry Reid is trying to get compensation for Test Site workers who were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, but never compensated.

Feb 27, 2006 | StoryCorps - Alice Keys
Alice Keys has been active in the African American community for decades and known through her association with the Moulin Rouge Casino. Here's her recollection of meeting one of the great African Americans of the last century.

Feb 21, 2006 | StoryCorps - Alan Morel and Mike Genoshe
When close friends interview each other, the stories are often more intimate and revealing than talking to a reporter. A case in point is Alan Morel and Mike Genoshe talking about their hopes for their adopted son.

© 2014 NEVADA PUBLIC RADIO   
Web hosting facilities provided by Switch.