Hutchinson among districts challenged by nationwide teacher shortage

Hutchinson has 15 to 17 openings for next school year, but in the past few weeks, only one application has come in, the district says.
Published: Apr. 11, 2023 at 9:08 PM CDT
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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) - At Monday night’s school board meeting in Hutchinson, Hutchinson Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Dawn Johnson told board members the district is struggling to hire teachers for the 2023-24 school year. It’s a situation that’s impacting districts across the U.S.

USD 308 School Board Member Lance Patterson described the shortage in Hutchinson as the worst he’s seen since he’s been on the board.

“Yeah, I think this is pretty serious for us,” he said. “And I think Dr. Johnson reiterated that at the board meeting that you know, this is a little concerning.”

Patterson has served on the Hutchinson school board since 2016. He said the district has 15 to 17 teacher openings for the next school year and has only received one application in the past two weeks.

The main teaching positions USD 308 is struggling to fill are at Hutchinson’s elementary schools.

“To have that many openings and not very many applicants is definitely something that is concerning,” Patterson said.

His message to parents is that the challenge won’t negatively impact students.

“The quality of education at (USD) 308 is not going to change and were going to still be able to provide that high quality for the kids that we serve,” Patterson said. “And I have no doubt that we will find the necessary teachers or find other solutions that will make it a high-quality education for all of our students.”