Expert: Older teacher population could impact how school is structured in the fall

Suzanne Monaghan
May 29, 2020 - 4:00 am
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 30% of K-12 teachers in the U.S. are 65 or older, and the welfare of the older teaching population is going to have a big impact on how schools are structured in the fall.

While schools across the country work to figure out the best way to accommodate older teachers and concerns over COVID-19, they’re also weighing the importance of bringing kids back into the classroom.

“In order for a parent to work, they need school, for the most part. And for the school systems to get back on their feet, they need school. Students need school for socialization,” said parenting and education expert Dr. Karen Aronian.

Aronian said many schools are taking guidance from a school in Idaho that reopened a few weeks ago, where some teachers taught from home through video conference to students in the classroom.

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“This will be something that plays out in different ways in different states, in different districts depending upon cases, depending upon the population that’s vulnerable within the schools,” she explained. 

Aronian expects many teachers will retire due to health concerns and school budget cuts. 

Schools will also have a completely different atmosphere and she expects some resistance to the new in-school health guidelines.

“Some people just, quite frankly, won’t submit to the criteria, whether they are faculty, whether they’re students and that would be under their parents purview,” she said.