Nearly one-third of all teachers in New York will be eligible to retire in the next five years, a statistic that could create a major teacher shortage across the state.
Now education leaders are trying to find ways to encourage students to pursue teaching as a career.
They discussed the idea with teachers and students at a summit at Kenmore Middle School.
A retired board member for the state teachers' union said it's important also to look at what led to the teacher shortage in the first place.
"What's happening in recent years, a lot of the budget cuts and challenges that teachers have had ... fewer and fewer teachers have gone into teaching,” said Joseph J. Cantafio of the NYSUT Board of Directors. “We are here to try to encourage them to see what we can do to encourage them to come back. Encourage people to think about second careers. And any way we can be proactive to bring in the best into the teaching field and people of different backgrounds.
This is the second summit in a series being held across the state.