Reduce Crushing Educator Workloads

PGCPS Board of Education

Background on Crushing Educator Workloads

Educator workload intensification is a primary factor in educators’ choosing to leave the profession early, contributing to workforce shortages that are reaching a critical tipping point. Many educators are buckling under workloads that cause high levels of stress and burnout. Educators experience a lack of definition or boundaries around the workday. Decisions to pile onto educators’ workloads are being made without educator input and without regard to how it impacts them, their students, and their families. What we are asking for are manageable workloads that let us focus on our students and their success while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Description of the problem

Unsustainable workloads for educators are significantly impacting the functioning of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified workloads with constantly shifting demands, increased hours to learn and plan using new technologies, and duties related to health and safety protocols.

The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing educator shortages to a critical tipping point that cannot be ignored. Enrollment in teacher preparations programs are down a third over the past decade and there has been a spike in retirements and resignations across the nation. PGCPS and PGCEA must work together to retain existing staff and increase staffing levels.

Staffing and substitute shortages have forced greater work demands as the existing and already overburdened staff must shoulder the workloads of vacancies and quarantined staff members. Workload intensification is a known factor in educators choosing to leave the profession early.

In addition to the staffing shortages, our members report onerous paperwork and bureaucratic requirements as contributing to the intensification of their workloads. These include time spent tracking and analyzing data, communicating with parents, pulling electronic reports, evaluation components, special education documentation, and lesson plan requirements, among others.
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To: PGCPS Board of Education
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If you agree to the recommendations below to reduce crushing educator workloads, sign our petition.


PGCEA recommends the following to achieve sustainable and manageable workloads that restore focused attention on student success:

1. Decrease vacancies by improving the budget and hiring process. The current budget process delays the identification of open positions until late spring, early summer, long after other districts have started filling position, diminishing the pool of available job applicants.

2. Evaluate the compensation for substitutes to provide an equitable pay structure that incentivizes accepting short term positions at chronically understaffed schools.

3. Provide administrative assistants with training in special education paperwork and compliance to support and improve the completion of required documentation.

4. Increase non-classroom positions such as data coaches, testing coordinators, and pupil personnel workers to reduce or remove the burden of tracking and analyzing data, pulling electronic reports, and communications.

5. Simplify lesson planning and remove any requirements that they be submitted to administrators in advance.

6. Increase staffing of elementary specialists (PE, Music, Art, Media, etc.) to decrease the number of classes they teach and lengthen the class times, which would reduce their workloads, while providing additional planning time to elementary classroom teachers.

7. Partner with community groups for weekly enrichment activities to give teachers more planning time.

8. Increase staffing of related and student services personnel to recommended ratios and implement equitable staffing formulas for their secondary assignments.

9. Facilitate an atmosphere of mutual respect between educators and their administrators with collaborative decision-making to include educator input regarding how decisions will impact them, their students, and their families.

10. Release students 2 hours early once every week (Wednesdays) to provide additional planning time.

11. Adopt the recommendations of the Joint PGCPS/PGCEA Case Load, Collaborative Planning, and Lesson Planning Taskforces. Recommendations can be found here:!ArcmL1dFumd-gbx89ScRz69N8t8Jag?e=42Ridw