Numbers down for interested teachers

MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) -- School districts across the state are facing the same challenge. A shortage of teacher applications.    

Administrators are looking for ways to up the numbers. Monticello's superintendent says he's turning to advertising.

"Probably 7 or 8 years ago an elementary position we'd have 200 applications stacked that tall and the last couple years we've had 40 or 50." 

Superintendents like Vic Zimmerman of Monticello schools say it's not what he's used to seeing.

"All the districts in the area are fighting for the same teachers." 

It's no surprise schools statewide are dealing with a shortage of teacher applicants. Monticello has two positions to fill for the start of next year.

And it's getting close to crunch time on who to hire.

"I'm hopeful more people will go into teaching over the next couple years so 4 or 5 years from now we'll be on the upside again." 

Zimmerman says in turn there's also been a decrease in the number of people wanting to be substitute teachers.

"When you have less teacher applicants you have less subs." 

Each day he estimates there's eight to twelve subs. Mr. Wadleigh is one of them. And it's a lifestyle he's used to because he's a retired fourth grade teacher. 

Zimmerman says his district is invested in it's teachers.

"We just settled a five year contract last year with our teachers last spring."

"We always try to look at our salaries and our benefit packages to make sure we're competitive at least in the top 25 percent of the area." 

And he'd love to see others join the Sage family. 

"Monticello has a reputation of being a great school district, a great town to live in so i think that's helpful." 

Anyone interested in the open positions for teachers and subs should look online.

Monticello is even getting the word out in Champaign. A billboard will be going up downtown on Tuesday. It's to let people know about the open positions.


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