HISD Still Looking for Teachers

At one point this summer HISD had 700 openings. They were able to fill 400 positions, but as the school year drew near had to transfer 200 staff from district headquarter offices to classrooms to open the doors.

Now, mid-September, Jackie Anderson, President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, says there are still 286.

She says there is a culture problem.

“The culture of a district beats strategy every day,” she tells KTRH News. “You can say whatever you want to say but people in the community believe and trust the people who work in the schools. Not your website and not all your little cutesy things that they see.”

The ranks of newly-certified teachers has dropped 27% in the past eight years.

“If you don’t have a culture within your district where people feel appreciated, and that they are being supported, that destroys the culture. And I think that’s what’s happening in HISD,” Anderson adds.

A recent poll by a prominent national teachers union found one in three teachers says Covid has caused them to consider an early retirement, but the problems began before the pandemic. In 2019, for the first time ever, the demand based on the number of students exceeded by 100,000 the number of teachers. The trend has been growing. Experts say student loan debt is the most often cited reason for college students to select a major other than teaching. The salary is set and not likely to improve relative to merit as in other professions.

The American Families Plan recently passed by Congress as part of a $1.8 trillion package includes $9 billion to train, equip and diversify America’s teaching force.

photo: Getty Images

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