Teacher Vacancy Task Force addresses Texas teacher shortage

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 9:32 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Texas Teacher Vacancy Task Force is recommending changes to help fix the teacher shortage in Texas.

Members of the force include educators and school system leaders including three from Amarillo and Hereford.

Their job was to find out why these shortages exist, recommend change and to talk about different roads to take in getting certification to become a teacher.

“I’m gonna tell ya, teaching is hard, it’s a hard job. It’s rewarding, it’s the best job, but it’s hard,” says Amarillo ISD Chief Human Resources Officer, Chris Tatum.

The task force is asking lawmakers to increase salaries, improve training and ensure better working conditions.

The goal of the task force is to implement a plan to attract and retain educators in Texas.

“Small schools, rural districts out there in the outlying communities, it’s hard to get a teacher out there and sometimes they’re paying the state minimum because that’s all they can pay,” says Tatum.

Tatum says that the force is also working to implement a study to see how much time teachers spend working outside of the classroom.

The task force has given their report and recommendations to the legislature who is meeting today.

After the legislature looks at the report the next steps will be training and support to help grow the numbers of educators in Texas through certification or schooling.