School districts focus on staff retention amid national teacher shortage,

Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Education Agency to create a task force to examine the state’s teacher shortage problem.
Teacher shortage
Teacher shortage Pexels/Pixabay(KBTX)
Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 3:09 PM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) -The demand for teachers is increasing drastically. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects nearly 1.9 million job openings for teachers in preschool through postsecondary school by 2024.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) projects there will be a demand for approximately 300,000 new teachers nationwide and a supply of just over 100,000 by 2024.

Studies show that roughly six out of 10 new teachers hired each year are replacing colleagues that left the classroom prior to retirement. Studies also show between 20-30% of new teachers leave the profession during their first five years. Pandemic-related problems, low salaries, lack of administrative support, and challenging work conditions have caused teachers to leave the workforce in excessive numbers.

Nearly 30% of National Education Association members say the pandemic has led them to plan on leaving teaching earlier than expected. Almost all 50 states reported shortages for the 2020-2021 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) asking the agency to identify potential policy changes to help ease staffing shortages in the education field. Abbott wants the TEA to create a task force to address and formulate solutions to the issues. He says the goal is to get more teachers trained and hired to fill more vacancies.

Tuesday, the College Station Independent School District (CSISD) approved a retention stipend for the 2022-23 school year. The board approved a resolution approving retention stipends to be paid to eligible staff who were employed and actively worked during the 2021-22 school year and returned for the 2022-23 year utilizing the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

School officials say the stipend will be paid over two equal installments in August 2022 and January 2023. The total amount of the two stipend payments will be $2,000 to teachers and other campus professionals and $1,000 to all other staff, including auxiliary, paraprofessionals, administrators, and other professionals.

Also included in the resolution is a hiring incentive for high-need Special Education teachers and professional assessment staff, also utilizing ESSER funds. The incentive amount of $1,500 would be paid over two equal installments.

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