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A recent survey from the New York State School Board Association found school districts across the state have been having trouble finding and hiring English as New Language (ENL) certified teachers.

The association sent the survey to every superintendent in the state and more than half reported they had difficulty recruiting and hiring ENL teachers and one in five said they had an ENL teacher shortage.

The Capital Region actually had some of the lowest numbers in the state though with only far western New York and the New York City are reporting they had an easier time recruiting ENL teachers. 

The north country was on the opposite end of the spectrum though with 63% reporting difficulty and I imagine many of the more rural districts in the Capital Region relate more closely to that end than their Albany suburb counterparts. 

The report said smaller districts have extra trouble because often they may only have one or two English Language Learners (ELL) at a time and they often move districts so a teacher may not be needed all year, every year. 

The survey suggests more districts could probably contract with BOCES for their ENL teachers so if their needs change year-to-year they are not locked into a long-term contract. 

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Samuel Northrop is the education reporter for The Post-Star. He can be reached at snorthrop@poststar.com.

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