YAKIMA, WA - Hundreds of teachers, parents and students came to voice their concerns about issues within the school district, one being a massive teacher shortage.
Teachers in the school district are becoming fewer and fewer... Vicki Dwight is like any other, but has her concerns.
"We're losing a lot of our planning time because we're being asked to cover for other teachers when they're absent. The lack of substitute teachers is a real big issue this year." Says Dwight.
Educational Service District105 superintendent Steve Myers has his take on this situation;
"fewer young people are going into teaching, more people are retiring. Right now, we have loads... Many, many long term substitutes that are not qualified in the subject."
A shortage of teachers in the Yakima school district is just one of a few issues that the community will had their chance to talk about at tonight's senate early learning hearing.
"Well I think this is an excellent opportunity for educators to get their voices heard from all the different levels, from superintendent to the classrooms, teachers... There are a lot of issues in education right now and it's nice to know some legislators are willing to listen..." Continues Dwight.
According to Yakima public schools pr director Kirsten Fitterer, a teacher shortage is only one problem, it leads to many more.
"There is a legislative mandate to lower class sizes but that does increase demand for teachers.">
And it leaves teachers on the edge of retirement, like Vicki, in a rough spot.
"When the state has made some decisions that limit some of our retired teachers from substituting, that doesn't seem equitable."