- Some North Texas school districts still lack dozens of full-time teachers as the school year begins, and are looking for quality long-term substitutes until full-time teachers can be hired. To aid in this process, districts are turning to staffing agencies that locate substitutes from lists of qualified applicants who, in turn, are hired by the agency rather than the district, NBC affiliate station DFW reports.
- The Frisco Independent School District (FISD) lacks 36 full-time teachers. It recently signed a one-year $2.2 million contract with ESS South Central to help achieve a 95% fill rate. Meanwhile, the Richardson Independent School District and some charter school organizations in North Texas are partnering with Swing Education, which has 189 substitutes for hire.
- Meghan Cone, a district spokeswoman for FISD, stated in a video that one advantage of using outside agencies is that they can offer incentives to substitute teachers that are not practical — or sometimes legal — for school districts to offer.
Districts nationwide still are scrambling to place teachers in classrooms at the beginning of this school year. This problem is not new; many districts faced the same situation last year.
Problems with teacher staffing are a special concern for rural school districts that must seek creative solutions to solve educator shortages while also trying to promote equity in schools. Recruiting and retaining teachers are not the only concerns. These rural districts often struggle to retain district leaders as well.
While school districts try to find long-term solutions to teacher shortages, they often turn to alterative solutions. Finding quality substitutes is one strategy for solving the problem and enticing retired teachers back to the classroom is another. State policies regarding hiring substitute teachers vary widely, so it is important that district leaders have a clear understanding of who can be hired for those roles.