Union sounds alarm on teachers shortages ahead of new school year

Some districts need to fill hundreds of positions

HOUSTON – With the start of a new school year just a few weeks away, districts across the Houston area are scrambling to fill thousands of vacant teaching positions.

The Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, sounded the alarm during a press conference and rally Monday.

“The sad and unfortunate fact is because of where conditions currently are, where compensation currently is, hundreds of our classrooms across the Houston area will not have a teacher when school starts in August,” said Zeph Capo, president of Texas AFT.

The teacher’s union unveiled the findings of a new report in which more than 100 Texas teachers participated in focus groups to identify the key reasons teachers are leaving the profession and what improvements would make them stay.

The teachers said working environment and conditions ranked highest on their list of concerns, followed by salary, benefits and professional advancement.

They’re hoping state legislators and the Texas Education Agency will hear their concerns and work to address them.

KPRC 2 News received the following responses from local school districts on the teacher shortage:

  • HISD currently has 800 teacher vacancies.

Statement on filling teacher vacancies:

“HISD has implemented a variety of strategies to retain and recruit teachers at a time of teacher shortages affecting school districts nationwide, a situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. HISD is implementing an 11% average raise for returning teachers in August and the starting teacher salary this year is $61,500, one of the most competitive starting salaries in the nation. HISD is also paying recruitment and retention stipends, holding job fairs and hiring events, and partnering with colleges and universities in and beyond Texas, and welcoming international candidates with the certification to teach in critical shortage areas. We are working every day to fill as many teacher vacancies as possible by the start of the school year, and the vast majority of vacancies will be filled. Where necessary, we will seek certified long-term substitutes to fill in where a vacancy is not filled by the first day of school.”

CFISD

We currently have 669 teacher vacancies; however, 139 teacher recommendations are being processed, which will decrease teacher vacancies to 530 if all are approved. CFISD will continue to actively recruit teachers through job fairs, partnerships with universities, and a variety of advertising. We have over 1,350 substitutes who have committed to supporting unfilled positions this fall.

Fort Bend ISD

As of today, Fort Bend ISD has 288 teacher vacancies. We have a total of 4,967 teaching positions.

It’s hard to predict if all vacancies will be filled by August 10 when school starts in our district as we cannot predict who and how many will seek to join us. Fort Bend ISD continually recruits and welcomes excellent educators to apply for teaching positions in one of the best school districts in Texas. We invite interested certified teachers and those who seek substitute teacher positions to visit: fortbendisd.com and click on the “Careers” tab at the top of the page.

Katy ISD

Currently, Katy ISD has approximately 200 vacant teaching positions. As the fifth-largest school district in the State of Texas, Katy ISD is known for hiring and retaining some of the best educators in the nation. Throughout the summer, Katy ISD continues to recruit and hire qualified individuals.

Spring ISD

As of July 18, Spring ISD had 161 teacher vacancies. Our HR recruitment team is working tirelessly to fill every vacancy for the 2022-2023 school year.

Aldine ISD

Aldine ISD currently has 452 teacher vacancies (we have a teaching staff of 4,328).


About the Author:

Emmy-winning journalist, native Houstonian, reader, dancer, yogi.