Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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WBR Parish struggles to find teachers, weeks before school starts

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WEST BATON ROUGE - School starts just weeks from now, and one parish is struggling to find teachers.

West Baton Rouge School officials said they're short by 42 teacher. Most of the vacancies are also in specialty positions that aren't easily filled, like math, science, reading, and special education.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers said the shortage is most likely a combination of Common Core frustration, a spike in teacher retirements and the passing of the torch from Superintendent David Corona to Wesley Watts.

Watts officially starts Aug. 1. He says the shortage is normal and parents shouldn't worry.

"It's something that you deal with each and every year in education," Watts said, "and we looked at it this week and our numbers are not anything abnormal."

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers says otherwise.

"We don't know yet how bad the situation is going to be with the teacher shortage," said Les Landon, Director of Public Relations at LFT. "If we were in the Star Wars movie, we'd say there's a disruption in the Force."

West Baton Rouge isn't facing a critical shortage, but school employees say they are dangerously close.

The school hopes to fill the positions in the next few weeks. Classes begin in West Baton Rouge Parish Aug. 11.


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