FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Educators have watched school districts all over deal with a teacher shortage. Fresno State's Kremen School of Education hosted a recruitment fair at the Exhibit Hall downtown to help meet the demand.
Over 100 school districts near and far, from the Valley to San Francisco and beyond, were all after the best candidates Fresno State had to offer. Justin Santos was set to receive his teaching credential in May. He made the most of the recruitment fair. Santos explained, "It has made a huge difference to me. Not only do I get interview practice but I've actually got job offers already. That's really exciting. I didn't expect that going into this."
But growing school districts were all actively looking especially with more teachers retiring. Kremen School of Education academic advisor Jessica McVay said, "All subject areas they're looking for teachers but particularly there's always a high need for math, science and special ed."
To stand out from the rest some districts stepped up their incentives. Madera Unified Superintendent Ed Gonzalez said, "It's difficult to compete with industry in terms of the sciences and math and so we're offering a $5,000 signing bonus for those credentials and then special education there's a shortage nationwide."
Applicants must have felt like pro athletes. The new $5,000 signing bonus kept Madera Unified recruiters busy. Gonzalez said, "We had more people come to interview in the first hour than we had all day last year."
Job seekers said the districts were up front with what they can offer. Santos said, "They're competitive with salaries, health benefits, all these things. As young professionals, we have to weight all those different options."
The teaching candidates learned a valuable lesson. It was a good time to enter the profession.