Substitute teacher shortage in Saginaw, parents speak out

Substitute teacher shortage in Saginaw causes parents to speak out. (NBC25/ FOX66)

A shortage of substitute teachers are impacting school districts across the country.

But one parent recently took to social media, expressing how the shortage is getting out of hand at Saginaw Public Schools.

In fact, she brought it to the board's attention Wednesday evening.

While volunteering at the high school, Tamelka Richardson-Doster said she witnessed students spending one to three hours unsupervised in the auditorium because they didn't have a teacher.

She said there were no assignments and no direction given to students.

Often times, she said this was happening in replace of a core class.

Richardson-Doster fears that her son is falling behind due to this.

"The things on the curriculum that he has not been taught, when is he going to be taught those things?" she asked the board. "Because as a parent, I feel like my student shouldn't have to go off to college and learn things by default."

Board members admit there is a problem.

"We see that," Board President Rudy Patterson said. "Board members... we've hammered that home all along... all this school year, last school year... that we want certified teachers in every classroom."

The administration released a statement that said this is not a common occurrence and when it happens, students are given a structured, supervised setting.

The superintendent declined to comment on-camera Wednesday evening on the matter.

The following is the district's complete statement: "Due to a shortage of substitute teachers within the region, there are cases when substitute teaching assignments are not filled, however, the students are still provided with a structured supervised setting to complete the objectives for the day. This is not a common occurrence."

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