North Texas – A few months have passed since the start of the school year, but North Texas school districts are still facing teacher shortage and the issue is growing.
The school districts in the North Texas area have been offering some big incentives in hopes of attracting and retaining teachers, but these incentives are showing in results so far.
The teacher shortage is evident in almost every school district in the area.
“Right now, we have 250 teaching vacancies,” said FWISD Chief Talent Officer Raul Pena. “We have a high need across the district.”
According to Pena, the problem was here even before the pandemic, but since March 2020, the need for teachers has only increased.
“We are experiencing unprecedented vacancies in all areas,” he said. “Part of that was the pandemic that left fear and uncertainty in people’s minds.”
In an effort to attract more teachers, both Fort Worth ISD and Dallas ISD are offering incentives for both new and existing teachers.
“The ongoing effort is to ensure no classroom goes without an educator. We are working with the substitute pipeline,” said Diana Castaneda, recruitment manager for Dallas ISD.
Dallas College is hoping to create a new pipeline.
“One of the reasons we chose to pursue education for a bachelor’s degree is because there is such huge demand for high-quality early childhood educators,” said Rob De Has, vice provost od Dallas College school of education.
The latest data shows that more than 4,300 early childhood educators are needed right now. This numbers means that children from birth to third grade don’t have access to a high-quality teacher and if something is not done, the issue will be growing in the next couple of years.
Dallas College expects 750 to 1,000 students to graduate each year with degrees in early childhood education helping to fill that critical gap.