SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools expect to need about 400 additional certified teachers to start School Year 2018-19.
The Director of Employment, Heather Bilton, claims the high turnover stems from the large military population and increased retirement rates. She says this teaching shortage is nationwide.
"Our colleges of education that typically would have produced maybe 200 teaching candidates each spring, are producing about 70. It's significantly less than a few years ago," Bilton claimed.
However, a current SCCPSS kindergarten teacher says the massive vacancies in the county's school system are due to the failing schools. She wished to remain anonymous, but said many of the teachers are, "underqualified and desperate for a job if they choose this school system."
Eleven of the 18 public schools in Chatham County are listed as failing schools. The kindergarten teacher says the work environment is, "brutal and disheartening" and "requires teachers that are selfless and truly love children."
Bilton says these types of teachers are who they need to fill these positions.
"It does take special teachers to go into tough inner-city schools, but those kids need just the same amount of education. So we look for teachers that have some sort of background in urban education or are willing to get that extra education," she said.
In order to draw in more applicants, SCCPSS will offer an incentive program for the second year in a row for turnaround schools.
"We have three schools right now that are turnaround schools. We offer supplemental money for the teachers that go there. We also do a signing relocation supplement for them if they're coming from more than 50 miles away," Bilton said.
WTOC also checked with surrounding counties to find out their teacher vacancies and hiring progress.
- Beaufort County: 200-250
- McIntosh County: < 10
- Evans County: < 10
- Bulloch County:15
The Beaufort County School District Director of Communications, Jim Foster, says the vacancies in Beaufort are due to the large growth. More schools coming to the area will require more staffing.
To help fill the SCCPSS teacher positions, the district is hosting an Educator Hiring Fair on Saturday, April 7, at New Hampstead High School.
Newly named 2019 SCCPSS Teacher of the Year Kiwonda Riley will be on site to welcome attendees. Approximately 150 applicants are expected to interview at the Hiring Fair for School Year 18-19 positions available in our 55 schools.
WHAT: SCCPSS Spring Educator Hiring Fair
WHEN: Saturday, April 7 – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WHERE: New Hampstead High School, 2451 Little Neck Road, Bloomingdale, GA
- Teaching certificate
- Official college transcripts
- GACE scores/content assessment scores
- Two forms of identification
Registration is required on www.teachsavannah.com.
For more information, contact Dr. Heather Bilton at firstname.lastname@example.org.