The Jackson Public School district is dealing with a teacher shortage for the 2019-2020 school year due to the fact many developing teachers won’t be able to advance to the second year of their program.

Developing teachers have a hard deadline to finish their Praxis exam every year; if they don’t finish on time, they can’t advance due to state guidelines.

However, JPS believes it has a possible solution. With a minor alteration to the required timelines, future teachers could finish on time.

WJTV12’s Angel Idowu spoke with Mississippi Today’s Kelsey Davis who originally reported on this story.

Kelsey Davis says, Their understanding was that they just had to get done by the end of the third year and that by the end of the first year they just had to show that they were trying and were making progress towards that.

JPS says there has always been a hard deadline to complete the praxis exam, but argue the time allowed to finish it is simply not enough. That’s why they’re offering a solution. 

All of those things are reasonable criteria, just give us the three-year window without these barriers, and allow us as the district to track progress, says JPS Chief of Staff Michael Cormack. We will hold our teachers accountable, we’ll provide them the support that they need but, they just need more time.