Lynchburg City School leaders sidestep questions about staffing vacancies

The system held a conference last week when they said they have vacancies, but can’t say how many

After multiple questions and opportunities, Lynchburg leaders continue to sidestep our questions about teacher vacancies and new hires

LYNCHBURG, Va. – It’s no secret that staffing shortages are an issue for school divisions across the United States.

But after Lynchburg City Schools held a news conference last week and told 10 News it was “too early to tell” how many teachers and staff members they have for the upcoming school year, we wanted to follow up.

Unfortunately, to no avail.

During the July 27 news conference, Superintendent Dr. Crystal Edwards acknowledged that they, like other school divisions, are facing challenges and are doing everything they can to fill spots.

“We have had, over the last couple of weeks, many people join Lynchburg City Schools,” said Edwards.

The superintendent pointed out that an online portal, listing more than 200 jobs, does not represent the exact number of vacant positions at LCS.

That’s when 10 News asked leaders, “Can you give us any type of ballpark figure on how many new hires you have or how many vacancies you still have?”

Dr. Reid Wodicka, LCS Deputy Superintendent of Operations and Strategic Planning responded, “We have a number of people who are still asking to join, still applying to join the Lynchburg City Schools. People want to be here, so we’re still processing through those.”

And on Wednesday, six days after the LCS news conference, 10 News sent a follow-up email, asking to estimate where LCS currently stands as well as questions regarding Tuesday’s school board meeting, where the issue was brought up and statistics were ignored.

“We don’t have the actual number right now, but we should have it pretty soon,” Human Resources Director Lakrisha Scott told LCS Board members during Tuesday’s meeting.

We were told that administrators were not available for comment Wednesday and a spokesperson said no one was available on Thursday, either.

10 News has requested a statement but has not heard back yet.

LCS students will return to their classrooms in 12 days – on August 16.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.