In the short term, schools turned to substitutes and those who didn't have licenses. The state could loosen those requirements as part of the expanded roles.
Despite the dour outlook, students and educators alike remain upbeat.
"I like my teachers. I like my friends. I like math," third-grader Emma Cline said as she played in a computer lab after school, as she does three nights a week. "I really, really like that my teachers care about me."
If leaders get their way, that care will take on even stronger efforts in coming years.
"You've got to look past the mold, the mildew, the trash and the dust," McGuire, the principal, said as she walked through an abandoned gymnasium she hopes to turn into a community center. The outside doors were locked but the glass on one was broken so she let herself in.
"Think of how many kids could be saved here," she said, kicking up dust with every step. "We have got to at least try."