STOW, Ohio — While snow came down in parts of our area, it wasn’t what caused one area school district to close Monday.
Stow-Munroe Falls City School District announced early Monday that all schools would be closed for the day due to a district-wide staffing shortage.
At its recent school board meeting on November 22, members reluctantly recommended taking steps to make it easier to become a substitute teacher, as a result of the ongoing staffing shortage.
“It’s tough,” Superintendent Tom Bratten said at the time. “We’re really really hurting. Every district is.”
The school board followed newly passed Ohio legislation, that declared an emergency need for substitute teachers. Under the new law, school districts set their own standards for hiring substitutes. The law also removes the college degree requirement for new hires for the rest of the school year.
In addition to the newly enacted state guidelines, leaders at Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools also included a provision that required at least three recommendations from district employees.
“I'll be honest, it stinks,” school board member Jason Whitacre said. “You're at the point now where there's such a shortage of substitute teachers that basically, no offense to anyone, but if you've got a pulse and don't have a criminal record, show up.”
News 5 made several attempts to talk to representatives from the school district about the shortage and what’s being done and are still waiting to hear back.