GARDEN CITY, Kansas – With just a couple of weeks, or less, before kids go back to school, some districts are still searching for teachers.
In Garden City, they’re finding it’s a lot harder to find teachers this year than in the last few years.
“It has been a little more challenging this year to fill the positions,” said Roy Cessna, the public information coordinator for Garden City USD 457.
With only two weeks until the start of school, it’s crunch time to have everything ready for students when they start class.
But one thing USD 457 is missing is teachers.
In June, the district had 47 open teaching positions to fill. Now, there are 32 positions still open.
That’s considerably more than the three to 10 positions they’re usually looking for this time of year.
“We’re always out recruiting trying to get those quality teachers that we can fill those positions with,” Cessna said.
District officials say they’re seeing more teaching job openings in Kansas, which has made hiring difficult.
“Over half of the teachers that we do hire on a yearly basis come from the state of Kansas,” he said.
Although the number of open positions right now is higher than in years past, and school begins in just a few weeks, the district is confident that it can fill those holes with quality teachers.
Chrissy Marshall is one of those teachers preparing for class.
She started her teaching career in Garden City after struggling to find teaching jobs in Colorado.
“Tons of resources and support within our school and within the district,” she said.
Marshall’s confident the district will handle the shortage the best they can.
“The thing I love about the teachers I work with is they’re very passionate and we really care about the students,” she said. “We’ll do whatever to we need to make sure they get what they need.”
Right now principals are working out a plan for how they’ll staff classrooms if any positions are left unfilled when school starts August 14.
We’ve checked with Wichita public schools to see how many teachers they’re still looking for. They told us they still have openings for 69 teachers.