St. Tammany still in teacher shortage despite recruitment drive
The school year is due to start on August 8.
ST. TAMMANY PARISH, Louisiana — The St. Tammany Parish school system is still short of nearly 100 teachers despite the start of the school year just weeks away.
According to a report from our partners on NOLA.com, although the parish fills 235 vacancies during the summer months, there are still approximately 96 vacancies. The district employs 5,600 people across its 55 campuses and classes begin Aug. 8.
“The fact that we still have 96 positions to fill after such a Herculean effort speaks to the depth of the teacher shortage crisis, which is a national and statewide problem,” said Brant Osborn. , president of the St. Tammany Federation of Teachers and School. Employees.
In May, the district agreed, at the request of the union, to pay an additional $20 million for teacher salaries, the largest financial incentive approved for educators in 20 years, Osborn added. That’s on top of an additional $1,500 increase that state authorities have authorized for each K-12 public school teacher starting this fall.
Yet finding teachers to teach math, science, foreign languages and special education has been a challenge.
“We approve applications daily. We are focused on recruitment and retention and what we need to do to fill those positions,” according to district human resources manager Steve Alphonso.
St. Tammany is one of several Louisiana public school systems facing teacher shortages. State lawmakers have worked to deal with the crisis; the $1,500 increase and a separate increase of $750 for support staff were achieved through legislation passed in this year’s legislative session.
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