"As board members it is your duty and responsibility to provide each and every student a quality education. You are not providing that to those students that are getting a teacher that is involuntarily transferred to a school and/or grade level for a short period of time. These kids have already lost 2 full school years from COVID. Please do not put them at a disadvantage by taking another year from them! Provide clarity and support to the transferred educators on their roles and responsibilities. And leave them with the same class for the entire school year. Do not expect them to do 2 jobs. Teaching is hard enough on its own. I am writing to you as a parent and a grandparent with children in the AACSD. As board members, it is your responsibility and duty to see that each child receives the best possible education. And the best education starts with the most qualified, dedicated teachers available. In order to attract and keep quality teachers, you have to pay them, appreciate them, and respect them. It is evident with the start of this school year, that you do not. As a tax payer, I ask that you cease this practice of hiring contractors and negotiate in good faith on shared solutions to the educator shortage with the union."
"Provide clarity to the transferred educators on their roles and responsibilities. Support them in these classrooms and leave them there to do one job for this school year. Do what’s best for kids. Stop this practice of hiring contractors and negotiate in good faith on shared solutions to the educator shortage with the union. Treat these dedicated, hard working people the way that they deserve to be treated."
"My daughter is 9 years old and entering 4th grade at Jones Elementary. We have been notified that her teacher for the first 9 weeks is someone who has been pulled from their central office position. My daughter has always struggled to keep up in the class even before the pandemic but I’ve continued to see her struggle. In a time when the kids need more help, these measures of pulling people involuntarily from other roles will adversely affect my daughter and all the other kids in her class. They need structure with an experienced teacher that is committed to them for the entire year. Having people rotate in and out with no commitment to the kids is not the solution. The teachers deserve to have a defined role and the kids need consistency in their classroom."
"I understand that special education law mandates a certain number of special education employees, however this is happening in the wider context of a teacher shortage in our area and across the nation. Hiring short term employees at higher rates and hoping to get full time employees once the school year has started is a risky proposition. In the meantime this pay discrepancy creates tension and mistrust between permanent and contract employees. Throughout the pandemic we saw this happen in hospitals across the nation, causing burnout among permanent hospital staff and many leaving to take contract jobs. How is the Board of Education working to retain current AACPS employees – teachers, cafeteria staff, bus drivers etc… and ensure that this does not happen in our school system? TAAAC has worked hard for pay equity among its members and this undermines the progress that has been made. Also, TAAAC still doesn’t have a contract for this year with AACPS adding more fuel to the fire. I am entering into my 3rd year of teaching with AACPS. It has been an ongoing environment of animosity and disrespect between teachers and staff versus the Board of Ed. the superintendent, parents, etc. It has been disheartening to say the least, and this staffing agency job posting furthers the uncertainty. I do thank you again for your time and I hope the Board of Ed. finds a more effective way to recruit and retain quality teachers in AACPS."
"To the Board of Education, please stop this practice of hiring contractors and negotiate in good faith on shared solutions to the educator shortage with the union. Work on restoring relationships with current employees and help lessen the load on them. Retaining who you have with bonuses, COLA, non increased work time, removing the need for SLOs and stopping the use of Brightspace would all go very far in keeping your present teachers in our county. When we can go one county over and make 10-15,000 with more planning time we’re going to keep leaving. Look at the root causes of lack of teacher retention and make some small meaningful changes. Stop working against them and support teachers."
I'm a classroom teacher here in AACPS. We need long-term solutions to the teacher shortage rather than quick fixes like hiring contractors. While there has certainly been a significant rise in teacher vacancies throughout the country, the shortage is not consistent district by district. The school systems that have invested in higher salaries while also committing to providing teachers with working conditions that allow them to do their jobs well have been more successful in filling vacancies. For example, Montgomery County is about twice as large as we are, yet as of August 8 when I compared vacancy numbers, they had about 200 fewer vacancies than Anne Arundel County. Howard County which had 800 vacancies–400 due to new positions–has filled almost all of them: one reason for this is that they have one of the highest starting salaries in the state. Ultimately, the current teacher shortage issue we face in AACPS should be no surprise to anyone. Teachers have been speaking up at board meetings, through emails, and at rallies to convey this message for years. AACPS must find long-term solutions to this current vacancy crisis. We know there are better ways to do this than by hiring contractors. Our students deserve to be taught by qualified, committed educators. AACPS will only be able to recruit–and more importantly retain–educators in this county if teachers know that we are respected and valued. You can demonstrate this by ensuring we have reasonable working conditions and competitive salaries.