We Went To Costco’s Yesterday and Found the Tutor Shelves Empty!
We asked a Costco associate when tutors would be back in stock, and she said, “There’s no telling. They’re in short supply and get snatched up the second they hit the shelves,” reminding us of the run on toilet paper last spring and the magical disappearance of bottled water that occurs every time a hurricane is headed our way.
Okay, we’re kidding, but we’re highlighting a real problem that’s already here – a number of different forces, all related to the Covid-19 pandemic, have created a shortage of qualified tutors – and that promises to worsen, with no end in sight.
A post earlier this month on the LA Daily News’ dailynews.com site, Demand for tutors skyrockets as pandemic lays bare inequalities in education, includes a section subtitled tutoring demand soars that states,
Even for families with means, finding a tutor and deciding on a strategy is not always that easy as demand for tutors has been great.
Paper Pinecone, a site founded in 2018 to connect Los Angeles parents to preschools and daycare, has received more than 500 pre-registrations for its scheduled expansion into coordinating pod learning and tutoring for K-12 students. Up to 80% of those pre-registrations came from the greater Los Angeles area after LAUSD announced its distance-learning plans for the fall.
Ignite Tutoring, a startup staffed by UCLA students that charges between $19 and $50 per hour for tutors, saw a 40% spike in profits from May to June. From June to July, web traffic for Studio City-based A+ Tutoring — a company that offers K-12 tutoring and test prep in the San Fernando Valley — jumped 250%.
Since LAUSD’s announcement that the district would start in the fall online-only, the 35 Sylvan Learning Centers in the Los Angeles metro area have had a 45% increase in inquiries compared to the 21 days prior.
The problem is far from isolated to the “left coast.” In another post earlier this month, this one on vox.com and focusing on the mountain states, is titled The pandemic is fueling the private tutoring industry. The sub-head reads, As more families form pandemic learning pods, some are hiring private group tutors to assist with online learning — or replace it entirely. It relates this story of one private tutoring firm:
Around mid-July, Meghan Colasanti joked to her business partner, Karmin Braun, that they might need to hire a secretary.
The co-owners of Mathletes and Bookworms Tutoring had become inundated with phone calls and emails from families in the Denver area. Their client list was rapidly expanding (the business had already grown by 50 percent in April), but as parents faced the prospect of having to help their kids with virtual learning this fall, those with disposable income sought out additional tutoring, educational consulting, or supplemental curriculum…
Now let’s bring the problem home to southeast Florida: We, too, see a rapidly rising demand for qualified tutors, are seeking more of them, ourselves, and are doing everything we can to retain the aces – and they are aces – that we’ve assembled for our staff.
The point should be clear: Prudent parents should be contacting us now to secure tutors for their children. Otherwise, the shelves could be empty and the aisles bare as demand continues to grow.