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Iowa schools finding short- and long-term solutions to teacher shortage crisis

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Students across the state are getting ready to head back to school, at a time when many districts are scrambling to find the teachers and support staff they need.

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe chats with a variety of stakeholders in education across the state about this shortage which is also reflected nationwide. First, Iowa State Education Association President Mike Beranek shares how the number of resignations over the past couple of years has coincided with condemnatory rhetoric toward educators from state legislators.

UI Associate Dean of Teacher Education Mark McDermott talks about how the pandemic has impacted those entering the professional field, and IPR reporter Grant Gerlock talks about how the state's largest school districts have been seeking to entice new and retain current hires.

We also talk with administrators representing larger and smaller districts in northwest Iowa about vacancies they're seeing ahead of the school year.


  • Mike Beranek, Iowa State Education Association President
  • Mark McDermott, associate dean of teacher education and student services, University of Iowa
  • Grant Gerlock, IPR reporter
  • Jen Gomez, director of human resources, Sioux City Community Schools
  • Dan Barkel, Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn, Remsen-Union Community Schools Superintendent
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.