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It is August, and as public schools throughout North Carolina are preparing for the start of the school year, many are still seeking qualified candidates to fill vacant teaching, support, and administrative positions.  So, how does the public school job market look this year?  How does the number of job vacancies compare to August 2013? 

This week’s CommenTerry has you covered. 

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As of this morning, the North Carolina Public Schools Application System (NCPSAS) listed nearly 1,300 traditional public school job openings.  Approximately 700 of the vacancies were licensed teaching positions, which is good news for recent college graduates and teachers who want to transfer to other schools.

The following is a more specific breakdown of the vacancies:

  • 908 Licensed positions (includes teachers, principals, counselors, media supervisors, social workers, and speech language pathologists)
  • 347 Classified positions (includes instructional assistants, office support, custodians, food service personnel, and maintenance staff)
  • Ten substitute and 34 bus driver positions

The number of job openings, across all categories, is nearly identical to those identified in last year’s public school jobs newsletter.

I have pointed out in past jobs newsletters that NCPSAS is not a real-time computer system. Job postings on the website are maintained by local school districts. Districts have already filled some of the vacancies listed on the site, and some districts have openings that have not yet been added to the listings.  Moreover, districts may choose to post only a portion of their available positions, which may account for why there are few substitute and bus driver vacancies listed. School district officials know that it is unnecessary to launch a wide-ranging search to find qualified individuals to fill those positions.

The state application system does not include job listings for charter schools and a number of public school districts in the state. The two largest systems in North Carolina, the Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), maintain their own job listing and application systems. Currently, WCPSS has 150 positions for licensed teachers listed, which represents about 50 fewer positions than were listed at this time last year.  CMS has nearly 300 instructional vacancies listed on their job board website, which is nearly double the number of positions available at this time last year.

At this point, it is impossible to tell whether districts have had a difficult time recruiting teachers for vacant positions or will have a net increase or decrease in staff compared to previous school years.  Several factors, including student enrollment, the allocation of local and federal education dollars, and programmatic decisions, play a role.

Facts and Stats

At least 15 vacancies listed on the NCPSAS website are pre-kindergarten positions.

Acronym of the Week

NCPSAS — North Carolina Public Schools Application System

Quote of the Week

"With this, North Carolina continues to see its population grow at a rapid pace, with new residents lured by the beauty of our land and its recreational amenities, by jobs in our high-tech industries, by the exceptional services provided by our healthcare facilities, and by the caliber of our educational resources. We hope you can become one of them – and excel with us as a valued professional in North Carolina’s public-education community."

– Work 4 NC Schools website

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