Hampton Roads, Va. - Come Tuesday morning, your young ones will be headed back to school for a new year.
But what's not new is the lack of teachers, according to Chesapeake's superintendent Jim Roberts who says this is the worst year yet.
“It just gets more difficult every year,” says Roberts.
Roberts believes it's because the state education budget continues to get slashed -- pushing teaching prospects away.
“I`ve been saying this all along, that it`s going to come back to haunt us in the future. We`re driving qualified candidates out and the pool is shrinking,” says Roberts.
It's leaving nearly every school system in Hampton Roads scrambling to fill the classrooms by Tuesday morning.
Specifically in subjects involving stem -- science technology math and science -- and special education.
We've heard from all seven cities about their shortages.
As of today, Chesapeake still has 10 positions to fill. In Virginia Beach needs four educators, Norfolk is looking for 17, Suffolk has eight, Newport News has seven, Hampton needs two and Portsmouth is looking for six teachers.
Virginia Beach says they started hiring early and also expanded their reach using social media and commercials.
So to fill the gap, school leaders in all seven cities are taking action creatively to make sure there is a teacher in the classroom by Tuesday morning like hiring long term substitutes and bringing back retired teachers.
Hampton says some teachers will teach extra blocks, some schools will use a combination of live instruction and computer based instruction and some have moved teachers from schools with lower than expected enrollment to schools with higher ones to cover the vacancies.
Portsmouth's human resources director says his staff is hiring right now.
Norfolk says their biggest concern is the need for school nurses and math teachers at the middle and high school levels.
“We are bringing people in to sign contracts even as we speak. We have people going through the hiring process so we are going to continue to work hard right up until Tuesday morning at 7 o'clock
In Chesapeake they are doing the same!
“We`ll be fine we will be fine. We will have qualified substitutes in there until we find a position our human resources department is looking right now, interviewing every day trying to fill those positions so we`ll be okay. It just gets more difficult every year,” says Chesapeake Superintendent Dr. James Roberts.