SCS approves new video conferencing method to help deal with teacher shortage

WATCH: SCS approves new video conferencing method to help deal with teacher shortage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There's a major shortage of teachers all around the country – including in the Mid-South.

The Shelby County School Board has approved a new video conferencing method of teaching to help alleviate some teaching holes. It's one that will cost the district $840,769.

In as soon as a couple of weeks, 7 classrooms of SCS students will be taught via video conference.

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Currently, there are seven vacancies that have to be filled by Tennessee state-certified teachers.  The students in those 7 classrooms are currently either with a substitute teacher or joining students in other classrooms, potentially leading to large class sizes.

The one-year contract is with Proximity Learning. Everyone on the school board expressed their hope that this is a short-term solution to the teacher shortage happening within SCS.

Shelby County Media Relations provided this statement regarding the breakdown of the cost:

"For clarity, the total price on the contract was for "up to 15 teachers" teaching 5 full days. We only need teachers to cover 5 (End of Course) vacancies.  This is approximately $56,051 for each teacher per year.  This equates to $14,012 per quarter per teacher.  SCS expects to use this option for three quarters to cover the remainder of the year which is $42,036.
The total expected cost of the contract is approximately $210,180.
Please note: Not all schools will need coverage for 5 full classes.  For example, a school may need this option for only one class period so that price will be based on the one class period."

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