Lee County Has A Shortage Of Teachers, Parents Voice Concerns

At Lee County schools there's a high turnover rate in teachers and not many basic resources like paper and pencils. The County's Superintendent says it's because they can't find enough certified teachers or have the funding to get the things they need.

Lee County, SC (WLTX)- Lee County schools don't have enough certified teachers right now and parents say it's affecting their children's education.

During the board meeting Monday night, parents questioned administration about the high turnover rate, funding, lack of technology in their classes and funding.

Lee County Superintendent says the turnover rate is about 12% and every year they let go of about 30 teachers or school staff. She says that's because the demand changes so much. 

Right now, there's 18 job listings for the district. Eight of them are for teachers. Dr. Andrews says some of those were unexpected. For example, West Lee had more students in the second grade this year than were expected.

Of the 5 schools, the Superintendent says 4 of them had new principals this year. All of whom do not have any experience as school principals. 

There was such a large crowd at the board meeting, people were standing outside the doors. One of their biggest concerns was the outsourcing of school jobs.

Citizens said the school's superintendent was hiring people outside of the county and that's why everyone was leaving. To that, Lee County Superintendent Dr. Wanda Andrews said she hires the best candidates regardless of where they're from.

There was a lot of frustration in the room from the parents who said they felt the Superintendent was dishonest. 

News19 spoke to Dr. Andrews prior to the meeting and she said they're having a really hard time finding teachers and getting the funds to pay them.

"All of what we need and what we would like to have, [is] competitive salaries, the facilities, the technology, we don’t have everything but I do have a team of committed educators" said Dr. Andrews.

During the meeting parents asked how their kids could compete if they didn't have the same technology, like laptops. The superintendent said it was because of the limited funding. 

News19 reached out to the Department of Education who says The General Assembly allotted around $16 million that the Department will give to districts like those in Lee County. The funding is based on a technology study.

Lashawn Reames has two of her children in the school district. She says she was a core-class substitute teacher for a full year. "I’m not certified so I'd ask other teachers to give me something and they’d just give me packages and I’d give them to the kids, they’re not learning anything that way" said Reames.

She doesn't want this pattern to continue because it's affecting the students' education. 


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