A survey by the School Administrators of South Dakota this spring has found that over 30 percent of teaching positions posted this year remained open through May, when most positions are usually filled.
The numbers reflect the responses of 125 out of 151 districts in the state.
The reasons behind the vacancy problem vary widely.
Low teacher pay, retiring baby boomers, competition from other industries and other factors all have had an impact on declining numbers of teacher applicants.
About half of the 62 open math positions and a third of open English and special education positions still need to be filled.
Joel Jorgenson, superintendent of Hamlin School District, says open spots are filled later every year because there are fewer and fewer applicants.