TOPEKA — Caught in a political crossfire and exhausted from the pandemic, Kansas teachers are putting down their books and leaving the profession.
In a survey from the National Education Association, 55% of teachers indicated they were ready to leave the classroom. As of April 12, there were 1,381 teacher vacancies in Kansas, according to the Kansas State Board of Education, and this number is expected to rise.
A teacher of 27 years, Jeff Plinsky, has seen the steady decline of those entering the field. While there have been a multitude of reasons for this, Plinsky said, it started when former Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration focused on an efficiency model to cut public school spending while increasing teacher workloads.