"We have a number of very highly educated people, people with a lot of skills who can go work elsewhere for higher compensation."
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With children getting ready to head back to class, most schools around the region are facing a common dilemma: a shortage of teachers.
Sean Spiller, president of the New Jersey Education Association, said it's a problem across the Garden State.
"I think you could probably call any district up and down the state and you'd hear they have a shortage," said Spiller.
He said in New Jersey there are a variety of factors leading to the shortage. One is compensation.
"We have a number of very highly educated people, people with a lot of skills who can go work elsewhere for higher compensation. That's a factor," said Spiller.
Another factor is the growing workload on educators.
"Over the years we've seen countless amounts of paperwork that you have to fill out, that you have to do, that oftentimes as educators we feel doesn't really have an impact in student outcomes. It's not helping us grow and teach them," said Spiller.
He also said the public education system has to get more competitive.
"If you're a student maybe coming through the system and saying, 'Am I going to go into this profession or try something else?' That's going to matter as well," said Spiller.
A Camden County man who did not want to be identified said his wife is a longtime teacher and the job has only gotten more difficult.
"The pay hasn't gone up, but what she's asked to do has tripled almost," said the man.
He said his wife has taught in the New Jersey public school system for 25 years and it has become more of a challenge than ever.
According to the latest reported numbers, there are 270 vacancies within the School District of Philadelphia and 500 in Delaware.