After 18 months of shuttered schools, children across the country are back in class — but thousands of teachers and other critical school workers across the country are not.

Faced with burnout, low wages and now COVID-19, scores of education workers — including not just teachers but also school bus drivers, special education paraprofessionals, cafeteria and afterschool workers, nurses, school safety agents and custodians — have left their posts.

Districts have been forced to cancel classes, close cafeterias and feed students pizza, bring back remote classes, and hire per diem emergency workers. School officials have also increased salaries and other incentives to attract and retain staff.

The 74 has found school staffing shortages in all 50 states.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent data show there were 460,000 state and local education job openings in July. The rate of workers leaving their job only increased in two industries — wholesale trades and education.

Read the full article about the shortage of school staff by Meghan Gallagher at The 74.