The teacher shortage has become an issue in many areas around the country. States are passing new laws to weaken the demands required of prospective teachers before they can lead a classroom. Utah now allows teachers to be hired with no prior training or experience in the field.
The substitute teacher shortage has also become severe in many regions. A report on conditions in Illinois found almost 20% of teacher absences go unfilled each week among 400 districts participating in a survey. In Boston, a startup solution called Parachute Teachers recruits professionals to cover classrooms and offer lessons on topics they’re passionate about. Students aren’t following their teacher’s prescribed curriculum, but they do get authentic learning opportunities in his or her absence.