RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Many school districts are preparing for their virtual learning programs to begin but they are dealing with an ongoing teacher shortage.
“Finding teachers for our virtual program is more of a challenge,” said Mario Salinas, Superintendent for Edinburg CISD.
He adds they’ve had challenges finding teachers for in-person instruction and now with virtual learning making a come back the search for teachers continues.
“So since we are having trouble finding teachers we’re going to try and go after the teachers that are retired that may perhaps for a year they want to do it virtually that’s what we are trying to do right now,” said Salinas.
Finding more educators will help the district keep its student-teacher ratios low. Edinburg CISD isn’t the only district targeting retired teachers, Brownsville ISD is also doing the same.
“We are hiring currently special education retired teachers anyone interested because that is our biggest area where we have vacancies,” said Carmelita Rodriguez, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources at Brownsville ISD.
When it comes to using current in-person educators to teach virtual instruction as well, district officials say the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is not allowing it.
“You can’t have a teacher teaching to children in the classroom in person and then concurrently be teaching to the children at home they don’t allow that,” said Salinas.
He shares that this makes it harder for them to fill positions, which is why they’re taking a different approach. Districts are optimistic they will find teachers before their virtual learning begins.