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COVID fuels dire teacher shortage

CALIFORNIA (Axios): The pandemic has pushed teachers out of the workforce in droves, and many schools don’t have a safety net to fill the gaps as children come back into classrooms, Axios’ Erica Pandey reports.

Why it matters: Teaching has been one of the toughest pandemic-era jobs, with the pivot to remote learning, then the stress of reopening.

Teacher retirements are up 44% in Michigan since August, Crain’s Detroit Business reports. School in Long Beach, Calif., saw teacher leaves of absence spike 35% this year, according to EdSurge.

73% of districts said their need for substitute teachers was more dire in 2020 than in 2019, Education Week found in a survey of principals and school administrators.

74% said the number of applicants for sub positions dropped.

What to watch: Schools are hiring. While many industries are still recovering from the initial pandemic crash, job openings for teachers are 2% higher than pre-pandemic levels, AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the job-search site Indeed, tells Axios.