by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
“Teachers wanted: CMS still hiring as opening day looms” is the headline of a story published by the Charlotte Observer yesterday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) and other large urban districts across the nation are scrambling to fill teacher vacancies before the start of the new school year.
I examined the 311 vacancies listed on the CMS website as of this morning, categorized them, and removed 13 non-classroom positions from the list. Of the 298 vacancies remaining, I counted 117 (39 percent) were in four “hard-to-staff” areas – math, science, special education, and foreign language/ESL. (Note: Some positions required the applicant to be able to teach multiple subjects. If at least one of those subjects was a hard-to-staff area, they were included once in my count.)
I suspect that CMS will fill the 16 available social studies positions and the handful of fine arts vacancies with relative ease. On the other hand, hiring qualified math, science, special education, and foreign language/ESL teachers will continue to be a challenge for North Carolina districts until the state supplies financial incentives to teachers with in-demand qualifications and skills.