Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com
The Dallas Independent School District needs to hire 285 more teachers and hundreds of other employees before school starts.
Classes in Dallas public schools begin Monday, but the district still needs to hire 285 teachers and hundreds of other employees.
More than 1,000 Dallas Independent School District employees were laid off or resigned during budget concerns earlier this year.
"It's been very challenging, because we had the budget uncertainty during the spring and then we offered the early resignation program for teachers, and we had a number of them take it," district spokesman Jon Dahlander said
The DISD website shows more than 280 teacher openings, one quarter of which are for bilingual teachers.
"We have been through situations in the past where we have had to scramble at the last minute to bring in teachers, but we've worked through it," Dahlander said.
None of the teachers who took the buyout have reapplied for their positions, he said. Teachers who come back would have to pay back the incentive money.
DISD schools are enrolling about 2,000 more Spanish-speaking students this year. The district has more than 157,000 and 230 schools.
Teachers such as Maria Rodriguez-Carter are in high demand. She teaches bilingual English-Spanish classes at Maria Moreno Elementary School.
"We don't want to have overcrowded classrooms," she said. "It makes it a lot more difficult to teach 17 kids, let alone 25 children, because we don't have the teachers that we need."
Moreno Elementary just hired four new bilingual teachers, and Rodriguez-Carter said they are needed.
"In today's economy and today's job market, it's very, very important that they are bilingual. Most of the world is bilingual," said Rodriguez-Carter, who is going into her 14th year of bilingual teaching.
Other teachers in high demand at DISD are special education and fine arts. On average, each school has more than one teacher job opening.