Nationwide teacher shortage amplifies Alaska schools' woes

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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A severe teacher shortage across the nation has added to Alaska's ongoing problem of educators fleeing the state, creating the "perfect storm" for recruiting and leaving school districts scrambling for teachers with just a few weeks before classes start.

Alaska Teacher Placement numbers from August 4 show the state has 155 teaching positions and 90 special education positions open across the state.

KTOO-FM reports that about half of Alaska's school districts are still looking for teachers to hire.

Lower Kuskokwim School District Supervisor Joshua Gill says he has offered rookie teachers $52,000, only to find out another school district already offered them $70,000. But he says competitive salaries aside, he still has to convince people to come to "bush Alaska" where they have teacher housing without running water.