As school is about to start for many school districts in Kentucky, many across the state are facing a teacher shortage in a number of subjects and disciplines.

According to the Kentucky Department of Education, since Jan. 1, almost 5,000 open positions have been listed on the Kentucky Educator Placement Service, a free service provided by the KDE to help job applicants and school districts fill certified teaching vacancies.

These shortages have persisted in the state for several years, with about 6,200 open positions listed on KEPS in 2014-15 and almost 9,000 in the 2016-17 school year, according to Kentucky Teacher, a publication of the KDE.

In July, the Pike County Schools District had 16 position openings, with 10 of them being posted during that month. Reed Adkins, superintendent of PCSD, said on Friday that 12 of those 16 openings were expected to be filled that day.

According to the KEPS, as of presstime on Friday, the Floyd County School District has 30 posted job openings, the Johnson County School District has 38 openings and the Perry County School District has 27 openings. The Pikeville Independent School District has one opening.

Adkins said that although the Pike County Schools District has had more difficulty filling higher-level math and science positions and foreign language positions, he said the district will be in “good shape” as students start school Aug. 8.

“We shouldn’t have any issues with that when school comes back,” Adkins said.

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