School districts across North Texas are working to fill open positions as the nation deals with a teacher shortage.
On Thursday, the Fort Worth Independent School District held a hiring event that promises to hire staff “on the spot” from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.
Fort Worth ISD needs to fill 350 vacancies for classroom teachers alone but also has needs for teacher assistants, food service workers, custodial staff and bus drivers.
"Our goal is to not let anyone leave without a job," said Fort Worth ISD Chief Talent Officer, Raúl Peña. "Anyone leaving without a job is asked again about their resume. We're offering all positions, including substitute positions, where we can get them started. And also if they're missing any certification, we can help pay for their certification so we can get them into our classrooms."
Peña says the district, like much of the country, feels the squeeze of the nationwide shortage.
“We’re working Fridays and Saturdays. We’re working double shifts to make sure that we’ve got people getting processed and expedited as quickly as possible before our kids come back to school on Aug. 15,” Peña said.
Peña said incentives have been a big part of their strategy.
Fort Worth ISD offers Teacher Hiring Incentives for Bilingual ($5,000), Special Education ($3,000), and Secondary Math, Science, or English Language Arts ($3,000) teachers.
“We’ve done billboards along the Oklahoma and Louisiana border to incentivize some of the teachers in those states,” Peña said.