More than half of principals said their schools were understaffed at the start of the current school year, according to a survey published Tuesday in the Education Department’s first national examination of the school staffing problem since the pandemic began.

The National Center for Education Statistics survey of 904 principals conducted in August found that 53% of principals felt their schools were short workers, with 60% saying they were unable to fill nonteaching positions and 48% unable to fill teaching positions.