It's one of the most underappreciated and underpaid professional careers in the entire United States- teachers.

And now, Maine is facing a shortage of teachers like never before. According to an article published by WGME 13, Maine currently has about 1,500 open positions for both teachers and ed-techs all around the state.

Empty Classroom
Gilles Glod

WGME says that the Maine legislature is preparing for a 'critical' shortage beginning this fall with staffing deficiencies in every single subject. This means Maine is likely going to be forced into emergency hiring measures.

What this means is that under the emergency measures, schools in Maine will be permitted to hire people as teachers who don't actually have a teachers degree or license.


WGME clarifies that under the emergency guidelines, qualified candidates would need to have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent work experience, be enrolled in a teacher training program and pass a criminal background check before getting hired.

Alexis Hole, a parent of a student in the Biddeford, Maine school district said about the shortage,

"It makes me think, ‘Who's going to be watching our kids? Who's going to be protecting our kids when they're in school? What are they gonna be learning?’" Hole said.

Sen. Teresa Pierce, (R-Cumberland County), told WGME in part about the critical shortage,

"We need people in the classroom doing the job they need to do with our kids, in order for those kids to have a successful future. So it's really about economic security as a state. It's really about encouraging the next generation to come in and do this work."


When it comes to starting salaries for teachers in the United States, Maine is at the bottom when it comes to pay. Senator Pierce said in part about the low starting wage,

"Still working to get it off the table and get it to be part of the budget. We're the lowest in New England at the starting level of teacher salary. And we need to be competitive with our other states if we're going to attract the next generation of teachers for the kids of Maine."


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Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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