No Teacher Shortage in New Haven

Earlier this week top administrators in some of Connecticut's urban school districts testified in court about teacher shortages.

Schools struggle to replace teachers who leave in the middle of the school year.

One city that doesn't seem to have the problem is New Haven, where with 1800 teachers in 48 public schools, superintendent of schools Garth Harries has only about 30 vacancies.

"I think we could easily have a lot more vacancies, absolutely," he said. "But that said for every parent who's got a kid in a classroom that doesn't have a permanent teacher in it, that's a serious issue."

Math, science and special education teachers are the most difficult to replace. Retention is difficult if a teacher becomes dissatisfied with work conditions.

"Work conditions can mean different things," said Harries. "It may be the particular school environment. We try and be attentive to the school environment, make sure principals have good relationships with teachers and can identify teachers who may be close to burning out."

Retaining teachers is one thing, attracting teachers another. Harries said maybe the schools should over hire to be able to replace teachers who leave.

He said if a teacher isn't performing up to standards and decides to leave, he'll live with that.

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