Connect with us


Thousands of Teacher Jobs Remain Unfilled as Schools Brace for New Semester



Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has controversially permitted military veterans with very few qualifications to become K-12 teachers.

A Shortage Turns Into a Crisis

As the 2022-2023 academic year imminently approaches, school districts are desperately trying to retain and hire teachers amid a nationwide shortage, and some are calling the situation a crisis.

In Florida, where schooling in most districts is set to begin on August 10, about 9,000 teaching positions are still open.

The faculty who remain are preparing to take on a heavier burden of work than usual.

“Teachers are working wall to wall every day because of the coverage that they get,” Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association President Rob Kriet told Fox News. “They don’t get to go to the bathroom even. The minute they get there to the minute they leave, they’re working with kids. That’s not really sustainable and that’s not in our students’ best interests.”

In Nevada, the State Education Association has estimated that nearly 3,000 jobs are unfilled across all 17 school districts.

Moreover, the five largest school districts in the Houston area have reported between 200 and 1,000 teaching vacancies.

Carlton Jenkins, superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District in Wisconsin, told The Washington Post the shortages have gotten so urgent that superintendents across the country have developed a whisper network to match teachers with schools.

“We’re at a point right now, where if I have people who want to move to California, I call up and give a reference very quick,” they said. “And if someone is coming from another place — say, Minnesota — I have superintendent colleagues in Minnesota, they call and say, ‘Hey, I have teachers coming your way.’”

Experts pin the blame for the shortage on several factors, including pandemic-induced stress, burnout and low pay.

Some also believe teachers felt attacked and disrespected by parents, politicians and even school boards as Republican officials have thrust education into the political fray in recent months.

Conservatives in many states have moved to limit discussion of certain subjects such as gender identity, sexuality, and race in the classroom.

Some Creative, or Bizarre, Solutions

Many schools have devised incentives to attract more teachers, with the primary one being higher pay.

Nevada has bumped its starting teacher salary up by $7,000 plus a $4,000 “relocation bonus” for teachers outside the state or more than 100 miles away.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis approved an education budget that included $800 million for teacher pay raises this year.

In another move many have criticized, DeSantis passed a law allowing military veterans who served for at least four years to teach K-12 education.

The veterans are not required to have bachelor’s degrees, but they must have at least 60 college credits and a GPA of at least 2.5.

Arizona similarly lowered the bar for new faculty, allowing college students to take teaching jobs in the state.

More commonly, schools are planning to increase class sizes and/or deploy administrators with little or no pedagogical experience as teachers, with both of these policies expected to reduce the quality of education for students.

Some schools, such as those in certain areas of Kansas, Missouri and Texas, have implemented a four-day workweek to ease teachers’ exhaustion.

Sometimes, students are still required to attend five days per week, with teachers rotating their schedules so that some faculty are present each day.

Other schools limit the week to just four days for both teachers and students, but lengthen the days to compensate for the missing fifth.

About 660 schools in 24 states had a four-day workweek before the pandemic, according to the Brookings Institution.

That number had increased sixfold from 1999

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (KCTV) (Fox News)


White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds



 “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.

The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL. 

The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents. 

“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.” 

The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year. 

White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021. 

Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.

“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”

“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued. 

See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)

Continue Reading


Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades



Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company. 

Yeezy Surplus 

Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years. 

Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.

According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes. 

On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.

“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press. 

However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.

The Numbers 

Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million. 

If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.

Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.

As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval. 

Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company. 

“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)

Continue Reading


Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages



98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff. 

The Labor Crisis 

A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration. 

According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring. 

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.

With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.

The Solution 

Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care. 

However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months. 

Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.

However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim. 

See what others are saying: (Axios) (KHN) (Skilled Nursing News)

Continue Reading