In many places in rural America, there are some issues. Businesses are lacking, people are moving away, and schools are struggling to find teachers. VICE News travels to Shelby, Montana to document the teacher shortage. Without qualified teachers, schools are forced to staff with unqualified teachers.
The root of the problem is a decades-long inability to hold onto young people, who’ve been leaving small towns for bigger cities and never coming back. The shift is especially pronounced in the Midwest, where 85% of rural counties are shrinking.
Shelby, a town with about 700 families, one K-12 school, and a small main street that runs only a few blocks, has tried everything to fill the vacancies that pop up almost every year, with little success. So they weren’t about to let this opportunity of courting 13 aspiring teachers go to waste.
Watch below as you see college students arrive in Shelby during Spring Break and see if they want a job in the school in Shelby, MT.