SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A study has found that an Illinois’ teacher shortage has become particularly acute in central and southern sections of the state.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools has released a study showing that 89 percent of school districts in central Illinois have trouble filling teaching positions with qualified candidates. Southern Illinois fared worse, with 92 percent having issues staffing open positions.

Association president Mark Jontry notes the pay for beginning teachers is not high. He adds the way teachers are currently evaluated are pushing people out of the industry.

Sangamon and Menard counties regional superintendent Jeff Vose says young educators are more attracted to Chicago and surrounding areas for certain quality-of-life aspects. The salaries also tend to be higher in Chicago’s suburbs.

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