JCPS still filling hundreds of vacancies one week from start of school year
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jefferson County Public Schools are a week away from the start of a new school year, with one of the biggest challenges continuing to be filling hundreds of vacancies due to a teacher shortage.
The teacher shortage has been a problem plaguing districts in states all across the country.
The school district addressed the issue at a board meeting on Tuesday night, detailing in a presentation the ways the district is actively working to hire.
JCPS is holding contract signings six days a week, scheduling job fairs and following up with candidates from previous job fairs. The district is also using emergency certifications to fill jobs where there aren’t enough qualified applicants.
“At the beginning of the week, we had a little over 300 posted vacancies,” JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio said. “But I think it’s important to note that’s out of 6,400 teacher positions. So what I would encourage us to look at, that’s right at about four percent, at 300 posted vacancies.”
Pollio also noted that the numbers change daily, leading up to August 10, the first day of the new school year.
“We’ve had 48 contract signings already this week.” Pollio said. “We had 57 job offers go out today.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the JCPS vacancies page showed 78 elementary school openings, 74 middle school openings, 58 high school openings and another 96 specialized K-12 positions open.
There’s also the issue of getting kids to school. JCPS’ Chief Operating Officer, Chris Perkins, said that 70 buses still need drivers.
The hope is to fill those spots soon.
“We know we are going to experience delays on the first day,” Perkins said. “We have about 80 applicants in the pipeline for the training to become drivers.”
Part of the teacher shortage problem has been filling spots left by the staggering number of resignations from last year.
In 2021-2022, 437 teachers resigned, which is by far the most in the past six years.
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