“Subpar pay, burnout, pandemic disruptions and a teacher exodus: The many factors imperiling Virginia schools”

Originally posted in our August 2022 Top of Mind Newsletter.

In Virginia, Ohio, and across the country, schools are experiencing massive disruptions. While regionally, there are differences, many of the causes are similar: continuing COVID-19 complications, lack of funding, teacher burnout, and in some states, a massive teacher shortage. This shortage isn’t because there aren’t enough trained teachers, but instead from qualified teachers who have had enough. 

In this article from Virginia Mercury, we see a comprehensive overview of the genuine threat to Virginia’s high-quality public education infrastructure. This threat is mirrored in many other areas, including Columbus, Ohio, where teachers were striking at the start of the school year, arguing against terrible working conditions and subpar pay. These grievances are not only valid, but they are also the evidence that an entrepreneurial school district needs in order to innovate and reimagine how to educate in the modern world. 

Taking a step back from the emergent issues, we can also reflect on how much of what currently ails the education system was on its way well before COVID-19. Some of this has to do with the perceived goal and therefore value we place on education. Why are students learning the subjects they do? How are we setting parameters for teachers and students to measure success? Do these things need to change in order for us to create solutions to our current (and long-standing) problems in public schools?

What can we do?