South Carolina Begins Addressing Expected Teacher Shortage

Last Updated: January 28, 2010

This article appeared in the January 2010 Rural Policy Matters.

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Facing a potentially massive teacher shortage as many educators reach retirement age in South Carolina, the state as well as several local school districts are developing a variety of strategies to recruit and retain teachers, especially in rural areas.
Many of the strategies attempt to ease housing challenges often faced by new teachers. These challenges can be acute in rural districts where, in many cases, there is little or no quality affordable local housing.
For example, Saluda County received a grant from the state Chamber of Commerce and combined it with a grant from the Town of Saluda to renovate a small apartment building specifically for teachers in the district.
Last year, the state offered low interest home loans to teachers, a program that will be repeated this year. In addition, the State Department of Education has offered pre-approved architectural plans to districts and urged districts to collaborate with their communities to build houses for teachers.
Other districts have offered teachers laptop computers and discounts at local businesses.
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Read more from the January 2010 Rural Policy Matters.