AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – A national shortage of teachers is  being felt here at home. Richmond County school leaders say they’re having trouble filling jobs in the classroom.

“Our school system like school systems across the country is working closely with Augusta University and colleges in the area,” said Lynthia Ross, the Chief Public Relations Officer for Richmond County Schools.

Doing what it takes to put teachers in our school. Richmond County education leaders  are even prepping students to take on the profession in the future.

“Having students participate with teachers shadowing, while they’re in high school encouraging them through career technical programs to explore teaching as a profession,” said Ross.

But is this national shortage impacting the kind of teachers they’re bringing into some of the schools in Richmond County?

She says, “We ‘re always looking for certified and highly qualified teachers to fill the needs of our classrooms and our students.”

We did a search on the number of certified teachers in Richmond County Schools. Take Glenn Hills Middle School. 51 teachers work there but 5 of them are certified.

“That’s ridiculous, that’s ridiculous and you wonder why we’re having so many issues,” said Monique Braswell, community activist.

Ross says, “Our school system has identified some programs to encourage additional certified teachers and staff to work at schools that have been identified by the state as CSI schools.”

CSI schools are identified by the state as the lowest performing 5% of Title I schools in Georgia. Some of the schools from Richmond County on the most recent list include Murphy Middle, Josey High, and Glenn Hills High School. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School was -not-on that list. Davidson also has a high number of certified teachers.

Braswell says, “If they’re whole objective is to only send these certified teachers to schools like Davidson, AR Johnson, T.C. Walker then they might as well shut down the rest of the school system.”

Ross says that school system doesn’t assign these teachers to these schools.

“The principals are reviewing their information and application. The principles reach out to teachers interview them and ask them to consider the opportunities that are available at their schools.,” said Ross.

Even with a shortage of teachers nationwide, Richmond County school leaders are preparing to open another school — Southside Elementary.

Braswell says, “Here’s the issue I feel with that right there, were not going to have enough teachers, certified teachers to fulfill that school but we have to have more schools in this area, Augusta is growing.”

The Richmond County Board of Education will be hiring for those open positions.

The full CSI list for the year 2019 – 2020