AISD Teacher Crunch

Daniel Coward, AISD Assistant Superintendent for Personnel
Daniel Coward, AISD Assistant Superintendent for Personnel

A critical shortage.... That's what the Amarillo Independent School District says they are experiencing when it comes to teachers.

Officials say they have always been short on teachers.... Especially in fields like math and science.

That problem seems like it's only going to get worse... Since new texas regulation is now requiring high school students to take four years of math and science.

Daniel Coward, the Assistant Superintendent in Personnel for AISD says, "Because these are courses that a class of students will have to take, we will likely not have the existing staff to grow our class size by a certain number... To accommodate those additional class needs."

Coward says they have already begun preparing for the extra class load...

"We've already started adding teachers. In the last 3 years we've added an average of one science and two math teachers a year."

Those teachers are hard to come by. West Texas A&M University says in the last year they have only had 10 math teachers and 10 science teachers graduate from the program.

Along with the small supply... The growing demand and incentives from other large markets is hard to compete with.

"All of us are needing these same individuals and so that's what's precipitated some of the actions and some of the parts, it really began in houston and those areas where school are competing for a limit pool, so they began to offer incentives to their new employees. Hiring bonuses and teacher stypens. In Lubbock just recently announced a 5000 dollar signing bonus for math and science teachers."

Coward says amarillo is trying to compete with the larger markets... But it all comes down to the budget.