Madison County Schools facing more teacher resignations, retirements than usual

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 10:07 AM CDT
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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Leaders at the Madison County School system are looking to hire double the workers they usually would for the upcoming school year.

Kenneth Kubik, the Director of Personnel for Madison County Schools, said they have 200 to 225 open positions system-wide. Usually, they would have 100 to 125.

“We’ve seen, so far this year, a lot of retirements,” Kubik said. “A lot of our teachers, who are retirement age, are taking the opportunity to retire now and go on to do other things. I don’t know whether it’s because of the COVID situation and having all the additional teaching requirements of the remote learning teaching or what it is.”

Kubik said after the 2019-2020 school year they had 68 teachers resign or retire, this year they have had 78 and that number is expected to grow.

Kubik said the pandemic has changed the game for older teachers.

“This is not what they got into education for, especially you’re 25-year teachers,” Kubik said. “They’re not acclimated to this type of setting and we do not know what the future holds yet.”

He also said some teachers choose to move out of state and leave their position behind.

Part of the issue is also due to the school system creating more than 70 brand new positions with funds from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

Kubik said the current openings aren’t just for teacher positions.

“We have 141 jobs posted right now,” he said. “94 are teaching jobs, 3 nurse openings, 3 admin openings, and 41 additional support jobs which can be anything from clerical aids, mechanics, to bus driver, to bus attendants to CMP workers. So, it’s not just teaching, it’s all the different areas that go into teaching.”

Kubik said he does have concern with filling all of these open positions, especially when they aren’t the only system with job opportunities.

“If we’re adding 77 new jobs and Madison City adds another 30 and Huntsville adds another 70 or so, we’re talking about an excess of another 200 jobs that weren’t there last year just from this additional funding source,” Kubik said. “And that’s just Madison County.”

But, Kubik said he’s not worried about a teacher shortage or anything like that because of the base here in Alabama.

“When you look at the university system we have here in Alabama and you look at our state colleges and our private schools, just in our area alone,” he said. “Between Athens State, Alabama A&M, UAH and Oakwood, we’ve got four colleges here that provide a teacher base.”

Kubik said they already have more than 70 applicants for just one elementary teacher position. Kubik said some jobs will be harder to fill but he’s hopeful they’ll be able to do it before the start of the school year.

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