LAKE TRAVIS, Texas - Some Central Texas school districts are making progress hiring educators ahead of the first day of school, but vacancies remain.
Teacher retirements and attrition rates have risen in recent years, leading to thousands of positions in Texas needing to be filled ahead of the school year. Studies show stress from the pandemic, being underpaid, and political issues are some reasons for this teacher shortage, so many Central Texas schools worked to fix those issues ahead of recruiting.
"We’re doing everything we can to help meet those demands and fill those shortages," Lake Travis ISD Operations Assistant Superintendent Brad Bailey said.
Many schools raised salaries, doled out bonuses, and increased benefits and resources for teachers.
"There’s going to be some changes, different faces, those types of things, but should not see too much of a disruption in the school system," Bailey said.
Lake Travis ISD has only a few teacher positions open. "I think that number is in a good place right now," Bailey said.
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Hays CISD has about 20 vacancies, much lower than at the start of the summer. "We are working very fast to fill those and get those hired," Hays CISD Talent Acquisition Assistant Director Ginger Blanchon said.
She said she has about 300 substitute teachers set up to help fill the gaps but assures all students will have a qualified educator ready to greet them on the first day of school. "We hope that you love our new teachers and our returning teachers," Blanchon said.
Many other positions remain, such as food service workers and bus drivers.