Teacher shortages create more than just an empty classroom. When an educator submits their resignation letter, they create a pressurized system. Staff members who stay have to fill in the void until administrators find a replacement. But what happens when they can't fill the position? According to NPR, there's roughly a shortage of 300,000 teachers and staff across the nation, and only 128,961 public and private K-12 schools - supply needs to meet demand here. When districts can't fill positions, it wreaks havoc on the remaining staff, perpetuating an endless cycle of teacher burnout, absenteeism, and turnover.
It's obvious why burnout in education exists:
People continuously ask how they can support teachers, but it's also important to consider how to support the administration as they navigate this unfamiliar landscape. As administrators take these challenges head-on, it's important for them to stop operating in silos. If district leadership isn't collaborating to address teacher shortages, how can they expect the rest of their schools to do the same?
Every time a teacher resigns from a position, it costs schools anywhere between $20,000 to $30,000 dollars. The amount of time and energy expended just to find a replacement makes the job of filling teaching vacancies that much harder.
Separated systems hinder Human Resources from doing their jobs more effectively, riddling them with unproductive tasks. When HR lacks the functionality to generate reports, they lose the capacity to find qualified candidates.
Teaching candidates are a rare commodity. To keep school districts afloat and prepared, it's vital to have systems that work together.
School administrators keep their entire district and network of staff members operating at high levels. With the guidance of the Superintendent, each administrator oversees their area of specialty. Whether it's the:
…these folks and their systems play a key role in a school district's operations. This is why integrating each separate system enables optimal levels of management and efficiency.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) helps integrate finances, human resources, and payroll systems, to name a few. Here are some of the benefits to your school district:
HR needs help getting to the root cause of staff shortages to keep their teachers engaged. According to McKinsey & Company's quantitative analysis, employees across all industries value "interpersonal relationships and interesting careers." After the novelty of teaching wears off, what can educators do to craft a fulfilling career? HR has the ability to proactively address stagnancy with thoughtful upskilling. Using systems to track qualification and training management, teachers can find new exciting career pathing for greater retention. This helps to quell burnout and maintain engagement.
Education only offers upskilling for teachers if it involves costly schooling. However, the school administration has a large pool of highly talented individuals with special interests and strengths. In need of professional development for your high population of English language learners? Instead of hiring externally to train staff (who have no relationship with the school district), HR can track teachers with ELL students in their classrooms. Then, the Director of Curriculum can pay them to work with the district's ESL teacher and/or supervisor to craft compelling training. With intuitive tracking, HR has the potential to help their staff reignite their passions with career pathways.
HR can save time, especially when it comes to teacher recruitment. In March of 2022, there were 44% of teaching vacancies in public schools, according to National Center for Education Statistics. These vacancies equate to cut-throat competition in filling these holes. And their time could be more productive if HR didn't have to manually input data, extract it, or connect disparate systems. With an ERP, a Director of HR can add, modify, and approve job requisitions to streamline the hiring process. This saves the school district's precious time and resources in finding and, more importantly, placing the right candidate, saving them money long-term.
With high volumes of teaching vacancies across the country, an ERP system helps HR. ERPs create a centralized database of candidate information. This includes current teachers' resumes and qualifications. When it's challenging to fill vacancies, HR has the potential to use its existing staff to alleviate these voids. While not a long-term solution, this database gives HR a sense of relief, especially during times of high turnover. They have a whole pool of current staff members to turn to in these trying times.
A streamlined standard procedure enables a teacher's smooth exit every time a teacher resigns. While administrators want to fill teaching vacancies quickly, they'll need to understand why the employee left in the first place. Otherwise, teacher resignations have more significant potential to repeat themselves.
With an ERP system, HR has the power to improve teacher retention rates. The centralized data, coupled with an exit interview, helps districts with forecasting and long-term planning.
For example, with an ERP, school administrators can generate real-time data on teachers' workloads, schedules, class sizes, and student performance. These metrics help HR, Directors of Curriculum, and superintendents make informed decisions when it comes to offering authentic support and professional development. Backing an exit interview's qualitative data with tangible metrics helps district leaders defend their budgeting proposals during challenging economic times.
Every time a teacher resigns from a position, it leaves a gaping hole.
The director of Human Resources and HR specialists must fill the void as quickly and compliantly as possible.
Before they can even post the teaching vacancy, they need to know the district's codes and policies and how they align with Federal and state regulations. With an ERP, HR has the power to run reports and ensure compliance for every job posting, application, interview, and hire.
Not only that, an ERP system helps bridge communication tools from an IT perspective. HR can share critical personnel information with the Director of Technology to ensure they have access to email, grading portals, and other online resources.
With an ERP, Human Resources can automate contracts, benefits, and payroll. Additionally, ERP software can integrate and streamline document management when districts secure new employment. They can share and save important information and documents, saving many headaches in the future.
District-level management systems create a trickle-down effect in schools. Disorganized, separated systems foster miscommunication, inefficiency, and low morale. When school administrators merge their systems into one source of truth, they're better able to handle the challenges in education with data-driven insights, especially when it comes to curbing teacher turnover.
To help plan your next technology investment, read the in-depth guide to our product, Sparkrock 365 for K-12 Educational Organizations. Let us take you through the benefits of a fully-integrated, single platform for Human Resources, Scheduling, Payroll, and Financial Management and the key features we've built to help K-12s thrive.
Right to Play (RTP) is committed to using the transformative power of play to educate and empower children around the world who are facing adversity. Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur Johann Olav Koss, Right to Play uses play, including sport-based games and activities, to teach children essential life skills such as how to protect themselves from disease, resolve conflict, and create peaceful communities.
Before implementing their new solution, a key donor might donate via multiple routes; both personally and via their company. One of those donations would then show up as a corporate donation, but in reality, the person who needed to be stewarded was the individual within the company.
Their old financial software couldn’t give them that breakdown of information because there was no true reporting on the individual. The solution manager would have to know to go into the spreadsheets and look for and add up the donor amount manually – and that was assuming the spreadsheets had up-to-the minute information.
Then there was the harmonization of donor data within spreadsheets from each of the fundraising offices around the world. Financial information used to be separated from actual donor information, whereas the new system now integrates the donor’s data with their donation information.
Right to Play’s engagement with Sparkrock has helped the organization create, pilot, and improve many of their technology tools, including specific enhancements to incorporate business processes such as the end-to-end management of grants and other types of restricted fundraising. The way the money is broken down from the donors’ perspective and RTP’s perspective is well captured.
For example, if a donor agrees to a multi-year grant, each year can include a different dollar amount for different projects. The donor could be looking at their year as June to June; Right to Play’s fiscal year is January to January.
Their new solution allows them to capture all of this information and look at it from the two diverse perspectives through custom reporting capabilities.
Managing donor funds and allocations to programs in over 20 countries on four continents, Right to Play’s Donor Management system is now able to support online integration of their grants management and funding allocation processes, allowing them to work more efficiently and give more of their focus to affecting sustainable change for children globally.
Additionally, a project can have a number of donors in one fiscal year, so they have to make sure they don’t over-allocate, leaving another project underfunded. Through reporting within the new solution, the Right to Play team can pull out the big picture – for all the donors and projects – as line by line items.
This allows them to better allocate funds to programs internationally, with up-to-date financial information that’s viewable at the touch of a button.
Lastly, by utilizing custom reporting capabilities within their solution, RTP now has the power to do much more complex analysis and calculations, and can get a better overall picture of where donations are being used and what their programs are accomplishing. This allows them to take this information back to their donors and show them the impact they’re having.