Pressure in Newark over teacher shortage, lack of COVID-19 testing

Positions unfilled and promised COVID-19 testing program still not ready

School districts statewide are struggling to hire enough teachers. The staffing shortage has been building for years but when the pandemic arrived, more school workers retired or changed careers.

In Newark, the situation may have reached a breaking point. The state’s largest school district has 120 positions unfilled more than three weeks into the new school year. Making matters worse, teachers and parents were promised a robust COVID-19 testing program to be rolled out on day one for an added layer of protection against transmission of the coronavirus. Classes have started, but the testing hasn’t. Patrick Wall of Chalkbeat Newark has the latest.

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