Last year, some classrooms went without permanent teachers for more than a month after school started. This year, Mountain View Whisman School District officials say they launched an aggressive, early search for some 45 new teachers before class begins on Aug. 14. And as of this week, it looks like the strategy is going to pay off.
The district launched its initial job search through teacher job fairs and expos starting in the winter in order to better prepare for what has turned into a routine annual loss of about 20 percent of the district’s teaching staff — most of them due to resignations and retirements. Assistant Superintendent Carmen Ghysels told the Voice Tuesday that there are only four vacancies left, meaning that this year’s hiring spree should be wrapped up in time for the start of the 2017-17 school year.
“In any school district, attracting and retaining talent is a No. 1 priority,” she said. “We only have four vacancies left to hire, and of those four, three were created by adding new classrooms at school sites.”
A series of reports from Stanford’s Learning Policy Institute found that there’s a well-documented teacher shortage in California and across the nation, and the number of new enrollees in teacher training programs dropped by more than a third between 2009 and 2014. Two-thirds of the annual demand by school districts for new teachers is due to staff leaving for reasons unrelated to retirement, according to the studies, and two-thirds of the teachers who outright left the profession said salaries were either “extremely” or “very” important to their decision to ditch the profession.
The shortage creates fierce competition to hire teachers…
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