New DeKalb residency program aims to reverse teacher shortages

School districts across the country are dealing with teacher shortages. (Courtesy of Kenny Eliason)

Data from the Georgia Department of Education points to teacher retention being lower than it was during the pandemic for Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett and Atlanta school districts.

Teacher retention has also been on the decline in DeKalb County since 2021, and DeKalb County School District Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton says the educator pipeline is drying up. Dr. Tekshia Ward-Smith, who serves as the interim chief resource officer, said earlier this year the district had more than 600 teacher vacancies.

Now, the DeKalb County School District is working to recruit and train more people who aspire to be teachers. To address the shortage problem, the district has launched its own teacher residency program: IGNITE Teacher Residency Program.

On Thursday’s edition of “Closer Look,” Ward-Smith talked with show host Rose Scott about the goals of the new program.