Valley school districts working to fill open staff positions

Clovis Unified says they have roughly 10 teaching positions still open.

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Saturday, August 13, 2022
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It's the hard-to-fill positions - like special education and higher level courses - that districts are still struggling to find candidates for.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The National Education Association estimates there are roughly 300,000 shortages of teachers and support staff across the country.

Local districts are taking action to get every position filled before the start of the school year.

While most of the teachers for this year have already been hired, it's the hard-to-fill positions - like special education and higher level courses - that districts are still struggling to find candidates for.

"There are instructional aides, paraprofessionals - we are feeling some pressure there and are very aggressive," says Darrell Yates, the acting superintendent of the West Park Elementary School District.

But they say struggling to fill spots like this isn't uncommon.

"Those specialist positions can be tough - there are only so many specialists to go around," says Yates.

It's a challenge districts across the Valley are facing.

Clovis Unified says they have roughly 10 teaching positions still open - they're also actively working to recruit various specialist positions.

The big need for them is bus drivers.

"We're always recruiting for bus drivers' we have routes covered at this point but we may be pulling someone in from training to cover that," says spokesperson Kelly Avants.

Both Fresno and Clovis Unified also have aspiring teacher residency programs - it's a joint effort with local colleges to prepare and recruit future teachers for a career with the district.

It's one of multiple programs the districts offer to recruit potential teachers early on - and staff say it's part of the reason the nationwide teaching shortage isnt hitting them as hard.

Central Unified says it has roughly 13 positions to fill, many of which are special education positions.

The district will also will be starting a similar program this year - its called the Teachers of Color pipeline and will help students of color who desire to be educators.

The hope is that these students will return to work for Central Unified.