HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — This week marks National Public Schools Week, and in light of that, leaders from public schools in our region are recognizing the ongoing teacher shortage felt locally and nationwide.

NYSUT, New York State’s teachers’ union, is projecting roughly 180,000 new teachers will be needed across the state in the next ten years.

Recruitment efforts continue across the country and at home to fill permanent and substitute teaching positions, which leaders say are still greatly needed.

Ned Dale, assistant superintendent for Hilton Central Schools, says while his district is seeing some progress in hiring teachers, there is still a decrease in teaching applicants where those positions have become harder to fill.

Dale previously served as a school principal, where he says close to 300 applicants once applied for a single position. Now, he says those numbers are down to just a few dozen applying for a single role.

“The biggest difficulty is you’re seeing a low enrollment in the preparation college programs for teaching. That makes it extremely difficult when enrollment is down 50 percent. That means your pipeline is already down 50 percent,” said Dale, “These are unique opportunities to work with other districts to show what we’re trying to do, show the community we’re trying to recruit that public education is the most important service we offer all of our communities. We try to do it at the highest level possible to give all our students a chance to be successful.”

The organization ‘ACT for Education’ will be hosting a virtual webinar Tuesday, which will be open to the public. It will feature live discussions from local superintendents on the subject of teacher recruitment. For more details or to watch the webcast, visit their website.