CCSD faces new school year with teacher shortage

LAS VEGAS -- The new school year starts on Aug. 25 and the Clark County School District says it will not have enough full-time teachers to fill classrooms.

The district has nearly 650 teaching positions open and is actively recruiting teachers from outside of Nevada and pushing a fast track program to train professionals in other fields to become educators. District officials admit recruiting new teachers to Clark County has been difficult.

Paul Guillaume is one of about 1,300 new teachers entering the district. He says CCSD ranking as one of the worst school districts in the country was a motivating factor for him to come to Las Vegas.

"I think worst is a negative adjective. I think improvement is a better adjective. Yes, there is work to be done, but I think that's exciting," Guillaume said.

"We are really going everywhere to find great teachers for every child," said Meg Nigro, the executive director of recruitment and development for CCSD.

She says the district is still looking to fill hundreds of teaching positions with 70 percent of the available jobs being in elementary schools.

"It's really hard because we know it's such a huge impact on the kids. We need high quality teachers in every classroom if we are going to get our students to succeed," Nigro said.

But the task is tough. Nigro says as other school districts around the country reduce class sizes and hire more teachers, it makes it hard for Nevada to compete.

The Clark County teachers union came out recently and said one of the big reasons CCSD can't attract new teachers is because the salaries are not competitive to other states. Nigro says CCSD wants to pay teachers more, but lacks funding from the state.

The district's plan is to give teachers more training and have enough substitutes available for the new school year.

"We want to make sure everybody, in front of kids, has access to quality professional development so they are successful," Nigro said.

Guillaume will be teaching special education at Desert Pines High School and looks forward to the challenge.

"I think that many teachers here are dedicated and if you keep with that push students will respond," he said.

 



 


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