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Help wanted: Teachers needed

IMESD Superintendent Mark Mulvihill

PENDLETON, Oregon – From big cities to rural areas, schools need teachers. InterMountain Education Service District Superintendent Mark Mulvihill says the national teacher shortage is being experienced for a number of reasons – including the high cost of college.

“We have a teacher shortage,” he said. “We’re having less people going into it because of more college debt. It’s not a high-paying position for a lot of college debt.”

Mulvihill says another reason is the lingering impact of the recession, when education budgets were being cut dramatically.

“When students are going through college deciding what career they want, and they hear, ‘Cut, cut, cut,’ they think, I won’t have a job,” he said. “It usually takes a couple of cycles to get out of that.”

Mulvihill says there are still a strong number of applicants for elementary school teaching positions. The shortage is felt the most for administrators and specialty teachers.

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