FOX 26 looked at the Harris County school district's career openings, and as of May 13th, there are 836 job openings for certified teachers.
Jackie Anderson, president of the Houston Federation of teachers says that number will likely be higher.
"I talk to teachers every day who have not even informed HISD that they are not returning. It means they will have another year of doubling up classes, they’ll have another year without a certified qualified teacher in the classroom" she said.
However, while Anderson says the number of teachers leaving is concerning, the district says it’s not as bad as it sounds, and they’ve got it handled.
On Friday HISD sent us the following statement:
"HISD is working every day to keep as many of our teachers as possible and to recruit amazing new teachers to join us, and the data we have today are encouraging. More than 93% of HISD teachers reported that they plan to continue teaching with HISD in the fall. In fact, more than 8,000 teachers joined Commit: HISD, an incentive program through which they committed to teach in HISD for at least three more years. Meanwhile, the number of new applicants for HISD teacher positions is up 40% over this time last year.
As one of the largest school districts in the country, HISD typically hires more than 2,000 teachers per year, so in the spring and summer, large numbers of positions are posted as we go through our annual hiring process. HISD also typically retains about 10,000 teachers from one year to the next. Through programs like Commit: HISD and the district's nation-leading plan to raise teacher salaries by 7% this summer, we hope to significantly decrease teacher turnover and increase stability for our students and their families.
School districts across Texas and urban districts across the country face a big challenge in combating the widely reported "great resignation." In HISD, we are up to the challenge, driven by the strategic plan we released in March. In this plan, we named the important work ahead to make HISD a great place for talented people to work and grow, and we're already taking steps in the right direction."
"Teachers are going to be coming in the front door, but our veteran teachers are going to be leaving out the back door" Anderson explained.
We asked the reason that more than 800 teachers are calling it quits,
"A lot of teachers don’t feel respected, they’re given more and more work to do every day, but the pay is not going up," said Anderson.
She says research shows HISD teachers make 4% less than they did 10-years ago, and in order to keep good teachers in the classroom they need to raise their pay.
"They need to put some respect on their checks, that’s what we’ve been saying; they need to do a competitive compensation package," said Anderson.