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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dr. Mark Bedell, Kansas City, Mo., Public Schools superintendent and Jacqueline Erickson Russell, senior program officer for Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, visited the FOX 4 studios to talk to us about the teacher shortage.

Regional districts, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and others are working together to address the issues.

Russell said their mission is to elevate ‘the teaching profession and diversifying it. It’s a collaborative effort between local districts, charters, universities, and, which is a national organization supported by Microsoft and we’re all coming together to say We need more pictures and we want to make sure that they’re helping to prepare kids for the future.’

They’re focusing on the decline in regional teacher-preparation programs. With the current 23 percent decline, they are on a campaign to create the next-generation of educators.

“One of the things that we’re working on because we know that this is very critical is to continuously put positive examples in front of our children. Myself being an individual where education may have not been my first choice, in terms of, Hey, I wanted to play in the NBA. Let me be very clear. But there were teachers that planted that seed in me and we have to make for sure that we’re hiring teachers, placing teachers in front of them that can let our kids know that this is a very noble field. This is a way to give back to your community,” said Bedell.