Dorchester County in Staffing Crisis - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

UPDATED: Dorchester County in School Staffing Crisis

Posted: May 15, 2018 5:54 PM Updated:
(Photo: Public Domain) (Photo: Public Domain)

CAMBRIDGE, Md.- The Dorchester County Council unanimously approved the FY19 budget on Tuesday night, leaving many teachers disappointed with no extra funds being directed to the Board of Education. 

Many teachers in Dorchester County are dropping out. In a document from Superintendent Diana Mitchell, the number of staff leaving the county's schools now stands at 62. Most of them are teachers.

Katie Holbrook of the Dorchester Educator's Teachers Union says the number reflects only what's been confirmed. She estimates more than 100 teachers and staff are expected to resign or take jobs in other counties before the next academic school year.

"It's crippling to our system," Holbrook said.

The reasons, Holbrook says, include low morale among school staff, a lack of student discipline as well as large teacher workloads, due in part to low pay.

"We have teachers who are burning out really quickly," Holbrook said.

The teacher shortage worries parents like Donna Payne.

"I'm very worried that we're going to end up with a lot of people in these classrooms that are not certified teachers," Payne said.

Both Payne and Holbrook say communication between the Board of Education as well as teachers and parents is not enough, leading some to drop out. WBOC reached out to the Dorchester County School Board but did not receive a response.

Dorchester County Council President Ricky Travers says adding more money to the school's budget to retain teachers will likely drive up taxpayer costs and could hurt other county agencies that also need funding.

"We're not a very wealthy county," Travers said. "Out of the $60 million budget, over 40 percent is going to the school board already."

Travers adds the county is only allowed to determine how much money Dorchester County schools receives. As to how the money is spent, Travers says that's up to the school board.

Holbrook says Dorchester County Schools are looking to recruit more teachers hopefully in time before the next school year.

But one bright side Holbrook says is important to note is a $100,000 public safety budget specifically allocated towards school safety.  Travers says that fund is within the approved budget for things like security cameras or alarm systems. 

“We're going to make sure that the security is being taken care of first and foremost. We're concerned about the students and the teachers," Travers said. 

Dorchester County budget will take effect on July 1. 

 

 

 

 

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