Central Texas schools struggling to fill teaching positions

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Central Texas schools are facing a quickly fading timeline as they try to fill teaching positions before classes begin.

You could feel the excitement at Stony Point High School. Tuesday, the cafeteria was filled with 340 new teachers going through Round Rock ISD’s orientation.

Cassandra Rodriguez came from Harlingen where she taught social studies for seven years.

“It actually all happened really fast within a week I was already offered the position,” said Rodriguez.

Lauren Moorhead, a brand new math teacher with no experience, sent in countless applications.

“I was terrified trying to think of what my next step would be,” said Moorhead. “It was the best day ever when I got the call that they wanted me to come work.”

The district’s interim communications director Corey Ryan said it’s been a normal summer when it comes to hiring, but other Central Texas school districts told KXAN just days before schools start back, some are struggling to hire teachers.

The hardest positions for Round Rock to fill? “Dual language elementary and then with our health technology specialist positions in our CTE programs at our high school,” said Ryan.

Finding bilingual teachers is a common challenge across the board. Pflugerville ISD has 25 openings listed on their website just in their elementary schools.

Eanes ISD says they are especially short on Special Education teachers. They’re having to fill spots with teaching assistants and a lot of their substitutes have been hired full time.

Some attribute the lack of candidates to teacher layoffs, when districts had to cut back big time. That deterred many students from going into the teaching profession altogether.

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