Bishop speaks with local news outlets about teacher shortages in Maine

Penny Bishop, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, spoke to the Portland Press Herald and The Maine Monitor about the scramble to fill teaching positions due to a shortage of teachers in Maine. Bishop told the Press Herald that the state is going to have to significantly change the way it treats and supports its educators in order to attract and retain them. She commended Gov. Janet Mills for raising the minimum teacher salary from $30,000 to $40,000, but noted that Maine on average pays its teachers less than surrounding states, making it harder to recruit teachers. Plus, Maine is particularly vulnerable because it is often harder to recruit and retain teachers in rural, remote and isolated places, and because the state’s educator workforce is old, like its population in general, many educators are heading into their retirement years. “We don’t value teachers to the extent that other countries do, salaries are low, there are tons of cases of teachers taking part-time jobs to make ends meet, teachers don’t feel valued, We’re going to have to make some fundamental shifts to right the ship,” Bishop said. Yahoo! News, and Zipe Education shared the PPH report. The Bangor Daily News and PenBay Pilot picked up the Monitor article.