BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — New York State is facing a teacher shortage, and Senator Chuck Schumer met with educators at the Brighton Central School District to talk about legislation he says will help.
Senator Schumer is calling on Congress to adopt the “What You Can Do for your Country Act of 2019“, which strengthens the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Senator Schumer is also calling on Congress to reject plans to eliminate Title 2, a federal grant program to recruit, retain and train teachers.
Teachers like Adam Eck, a physics teacher with the Brighton School District. Mr. Eck has 23 years of experience and has seen first hand the effects of the teacher shortage.
“It’s affected me actually this year we had to increase our enrolment size in our classes for the first time since I started here 23 years ago,” said Mr. Eck.
Mr. Eck has also noticed not as many people are applying for positions.
In fact, a report from the new york state united teachers union says Rochester area colleges have seen a 40% drop in education graduates. Over the next decade, the state will need to hire 10,000-18,000 teachers. In the next five years, one-third of current teachers will reach retirement age.
Senator Schumer’s plan is focusing on two things.
“We’re urging our colleagues in the congress, to reject the administration elimination of the Title 2 program,” said Senator Schumer.
“And the second thing that we’re proposing is that we expand and get really moving what’s called the public service loan forgiveness program,” said Senator Schumer.
He hopes that both will help school districts to recruit, train, and retain teachers. For teachers like Mr. Eck, the pride from teaching outways the challenges.
“When you realize how you can affect the kid’s lives and when you see those ah’s moments, it really, it just makes it all worth it. you know that you’re there for a reason you know that you’re there to help the kids and it so rewarding and I love it, I wouldn’t change it,” said Mr. Eck.
The ‘What You Can Do for your County Act was introduced in April. It has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.