Shelby County teachers concerned about returning to school

Shelby County teachers concerned about returning to school

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County School District is working on a plan to reopen schools in the fall, but will teachers return?

A poll conducted by USA Today revealed one in five teachers are unlikely to do so.

The Memphis-Shelby County Education Association says teachers definitely have concerns about returning to their classrooms, particularly senior teachers.

Keith Williams, the executive director of Memphis-Shelby County Education Association, says the one to five ratio could be higher for Shelby County Schools.

SCS says there are 244 teacher vacancies, which is less than five percent and typical for this time of year.

Wednesday, SCS hosted one of several scheduled virtual hiring fairs.

Williams hopes SCS can fill the demand because senior teachers are concerned about their health if asked to return to their classrooms.

"I think this will give them impetus to go on and retire. It's always a huge decision to make. This will make the decision for them, especially if they are expected to return to classrooms,” said Keith Williams, Memphis-Shelby County Education Association executive director.

Williams also has concerns about the SCS Re-Entry Task Force not have an Education Association member being that they represent hundreds of teachers.

We reached out to SCS and they say the task force is made up of key stakeholders in education, healthcare, faith based, and the business community and they will aim to incorporate additional teacher voices through the District Teacher Advisory Council.

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