Hundreds of teaching positions remain open in Baltimore

Dive Brief:

  • Baltimore City and Baltimore County schools are weeks away from the start of classes and still actively recruiting hundreds of teachers to fill vacancies that will otherwise be covered by substitutes.
  • The Baltimore Sun reports Baltimore City had 210 vacancies at the beginning of the month, an improvement over the past few years when it was even farther behind, and school officials say the hiring process and recruitment campaign are much improved.
  • In Baltimore County, schools are looking to fill 117 open teaching positions, in part because of an increase in enrollment and a new elementary foreign language program that have left it slightly behind.

Dive Insight:

Many school districts around the country are scrambling to fill open teaching positions as they combat a national teacher shortage the U.S. Department of Education has documentedfor decades. Many cities compete for teachers with suburban schools that have more money and fewer challenging students dealing with trauma and poverty. Rural schools also have an especially hard time finding good teachers and keeping them. Many of the less desirable locations serve as training grounds where teachers pay their dues and then move on to cushier assignments.

To combat this, schools and districts have had to develop their own perks. In Oregon, some schools have found a teacher leadership initiative through Chalkboard Project hashelped with retention. Teachers who take more ownership over school decision-making report being happier with their jobs, and the happier they are, the more likely they’ll stay.

Recommended Reading

The Baltimore Sun: Baltimore school systems still looking for a few hundred good teachers

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