Public school teachers and staff are being asked to complete a short survey as part of an effort by the Kansas Association of School Boards, the Kansas National Education Association, and United School Administrators of Kansas to help address increasing shortages in the education workforce.

Doctor Bret Church, an associate professor at Emporia State University, will lead the research.

The research comes when Kansas is experiencing a sharp increase in teacher vacancies, according to a new report.

There were 1,253 teacher vacancies this fall as compared with 771 in the fall of 2020.

The largest number of vacancies are in special education.

Shortages have also been seen statewide in administrators, paraprofessionals, and classified staff.

Officials have said one of the main reasons for the rising vacancies is because of economic and societal disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Church said he anticipated having statewide data by early 2022.