Shortages of teachers, coaches, mentors and other positions in schools are being experienced by school systems to varying degrees across the country, state, and Clovis and Portals school systems.
A look at the “Jobs” page on the website of Albuquerque Public Schools, the state’s largest school system, shows more than 670 openings on Friday.
Joe Strickland, deputy superintendent of staff services for Clovis Municipal School, said the school system is now “looking really great in terms of opening up.”
“We are not in a crisis mode,” Strickland said. “It’s less worrying for me than it used to be.”
Clovis openings are listed on the “Careers” page of the school system’s website.
As of Friday, the CMS website listed a total of 75 openings; 24 of them are for teachers as well as other openings for substitute teachers, mentors, coaching positions, sports positions, educational assistants, administrators and more.
Strickland said the teaching positions that have always been difficult to retain are math, science, and special education.
“A typical turnover rate is about 10 percent,” Strickland said. “We’re at five percent.”
Strickland said a large part of the credit for the low turnover goes to superintendent Renee Russ who created an excellent environment that is supportive, fun, and values teachers.
“We are focused on retaining and evaluating our teachers,” Strickland said. “It has made a difference.”
He said that the increase in the salary of teachers has been welcomed.
Portals’ superintendent of schools Johnny Cain said Portals has seven openings: three teaching positions, one educational assistant, one cook, one food service delivery driver and one day care staff.
“I consider it when you have three teacher positions near the opening of the school year,” Cain said.
Cain believes that the source of the problem is as simple as people not looking for jobs.
Cain said people can now find jobs anywhere.
“The teacher pool just isn’t there,” Cain said.
What will Cain do if jobs are left unfinished?
Cain said some action plans would involve mixing things up such as adding classes or altering some schedules to get the system working.
What kind of action plan is CAN employing to recruit personnel?
“We have the openings posted on our website,” Cain said. “We advertise with universities.”
Cain said that for the last 3 years, the portals are facing problems in the recruitment of teachers in the schools.
One thing that baffles Cain is that even the salary hikes offered are not attracting teachers to the school system.
Picked up from this year’s state legislative session, “and they are important,” Cain said.
Cain said there were three levels of pay for teachers based on years of experience. Level one salaries start at $50,000, level two $60,000 and level three $70,000.