education

North Texas School Districts in Hiring Frenzy to Get Staffed Up By August

There is a national teacher shortage as districts make the switch from virtual to full-time in-person teaching for the fall semester.

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What to Know

  • There are hundreds of teacher and staff openings across the Metroplex and there's just one month left to get staffed up.
  • Summer is also a common time for retirements and resignations.
  • Many new positions were created with federal relief money.

There's a hiring frenzy across the country and in North Texas, as districts make the switch from virtual to full-time, in-person teaching for the fall semester.

There are hundreds of teacher and staff openings across the Metroplex and there's just one month left to get staffed up.

Many of these openings are new positions created with federal relief money as part of an effort to help reduce class sizes and increase services for students who fell behind.

Summer is also a common time for retirements and resignations but the pandemic exacerbated that.

“We’re all competing for experienced teachers at this point,” said Clint Bond, spokesman for the Fort Worth ISD. “Probably COVID-19 helped make some decisions for some teachers, that perhaps they wanted to do something else and not come back to the classroom.”

Fort Worth ISD is looking for hundreds of experienced teachers in bilingual, math, science and special education.

Bonus incentives depend on experience, but new hires can still expect appealing salaries.

“We have positioned our new teachers to make $58,000 in their first year. That puts us among the highest in the Fort Worth-Dallas area for new teachers,” said Bond.

There are also openings for staff positions electricians, plumbers, HVAC and bus drivers.

Bus drivers can make $18 an hour, and if you don't have a license, they'll pay you $10 an hour while you train.

"We can't run a school district just on teachers alone. We have to have other personnel and auxiliary positions. Teacher assistance is a big deal. We have increased the pay for teacher assistants from $11 to $15 an hour,” said Bond.

Despite the shortages, the school district anticipates having enough staff as they approach the first day of school on Aug.16, Bond said.

“I think the teachers have been the glue that has kept education together in general. They are the people who were on the front lines in education,” he said. “Teachers have done a tremendous job. We are grateful to them. That’s why the school board raised everyone’s salary by 4% recently. We are among the highest paying new teacher districts in the area.”

Dallas ISD is also looking to fill hundreds of teacher and staff positions, with about 300 teacher vacancies right now.

“That’s a little bit more than we had last year at this time but we’ve added almost 250 additional positions. We plan on using our [federal] funds to ensure we have smaller class sizes so that our students receive a better and more direct instruction,” said  Robert Abel, the Human Capital Management deputy chief for Dallas ISD.

The district is really searching for core content teachers for elementary including bilingual and secondary English, math and science.

Dallas ISD is also rolling out the incentives, including bonuses for specialty positions like bilingual and special education teachers.

The Teacher Excellence Initiative, a pay-per-performance plan, is another incentive that the district hopes will entice more applicants.

“We have a very competitive compensation plan where teachers can earn up to $100,000 in TEI,” said Abel. “Rather than being based on just years of service in other districts, ours is based on performance. You can earn additional money. So within five years, in TEI system, teachers can actually earn what it would take 25 years to earn another district.”

The district is also looking for 125 janitors, more than 100 food service workers, and dozens of bus drivers. Those positions can look forward to higher pay, too.

"Our board of trustees recently increased our minimum wage to $13.50, which is the highest any school district in our region. And that's just entry-level. Almost 90% of our employees and support staff make more than $14 an hour each year. That's a great competitive place,” said Abel.

Other school districts like DeSoto ISD are also offering high price incentives to entice applicants, with nearly $60,000 of in extra pay for a new ‘master teacher' role.

Dallas ISD is looking forward to an in-person job fair on July 22 and Aug. 5 at Skyline High School from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Check-in is at 3 p.m. Click here for details.

For Dallas ISD job openings, click here.

Fort Worth ISD also has a virtual networking event this week and an in-person job fair next week. Click here to browse recruitment events and job openings.

Be sure to search for openings where you live – many other school districts will also have links to job openings posted on the school district website.

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