K-12 EDUCATION

Despite shortages, Tooele County School District says it’s retaining teachers

Mar 10, 2023, 5:00 PM

Teachers are shown at the Tooele County School District...

Tooele School District teachers attend an orientation on August 11, 2022. (Tooele School District)

(Tooele School District)

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — In Utah and around the country, schools are experiencing teacher shortages. In places like Tooele County School District, classrooms are shifting their strategies to keep teachers. 

In a survey by Envision Utah, Utahns said the most important strategy for giving kids a great education is supporting teachers and addressing the teacher shortage.

Further, Dr. Mark Ernst, superintendent of the Tooele County School District told Dave and Dujanovic the recognizable growth of the county contributes to the teacher shortage. 

Tooele County School District serves over 20,000 students across 27 schools. 

In less than five years, Tooele County plans to see three new schools in the district. Ernst explained that the current populations at the Tooele schools are disproportionate.

“We may have to readjust boundaries really from one end of the valley to the other to balance out some of that growth… we want to use our schools to capacity,” Ernst told Dave and Dujanovic.  

However, in order to do this, the district needs to retain more teachers. The best way to do this, as Ernst explained, is by increasing teacher salaries.

Additionally, with a large county population comes “great voters” said Ernst. The voters in question have advocated for teachers. Ernst said Toole County has done a good job of increasing teacher salaries.

Ernst said many teachers who live in Tooele County commute to Salt Lake City. This has made Tooele have to up its game when it comes to competitive wages. 

Now, Ernst said, the county is, “not only retaining but attracting” teachers.

Listen to the full segment of Dave and Dujanovic featuring Dr. Mark Ernst, Superintendent of the Tooele School District

 

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Despite shortages, Tooele County School District says it’s retaining teachers