Some Lowcountry school districts scrambling to fill teaching positions

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some Lowcountry school districts are scrambling to fill teaching positions.

The shortages are happening just a few weeks before the start of the new school year.

Charleston County teacher Jody Stallings has been teaching for 26 years. Stallings, who's director of the Charleston Teacher Alliance believes there are three reasons for the shortage.

"Lack of parental support, lack of support from districts and discipline," Stallings said.

A spokesman says the Charleston County School District has a shortage of 137 teachers.

However that is just 3.9 percent of the districts approximately 3,500 teacher workforce.

Berkekey County is down 55 teachers. That is 1.9 percent of the district's approximately 2,500 teacher workforce.

The school district's director of Human Resources says fewer people are going into teaching.

"There are so many other professions. There are so many great people making choices other than education at this point," Glenda Gibson Levine said.

Dorchester County District Two is down only 14 teachers.  A spokeswoman says there are pending candidates for most of those positions.

DD Four only needs to hire two teachers. A spokeswoman says the district does a good job retaining teachers.

Parents and students have their own thoughts on why it's tough to hire teachers.

"Honestly, I probably think it's pay. Teachers go to school for four years and they have student loans and it's hard to live off a small salary," said parent Tashawn Takeall.

"With the generation that's being raised, they are not being raised right and they're acting out, and teachers don' want to deal with that," student Hannah Blakey said.

"I couldn't do it. I think they should pay them more and then they'll get more teachers," parent Kim Kirk said.

Stallings suggests anyone who's thinking about becoming a teacher should be prepared.

"It's not gonna be what you think it's gonna be. If you are willing and able to go through all the stuff you got to go through, you're gonna find a lot of success, and there's not a more rewarding profession than being a teacher," Stallings said.

Charleston County School District officials said it's not unusual for them to have a shortage of more than a hundred teachers at this time of year.

Copyright 2017 WCSC. All rights reserved.