North Texas schools raise starting salaries, offer hiring bonuses to tackle teacher shortage

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Facing staffing shortages, school districts like Garland and Mansfield ISD are increasing teacher salaries.

Districts are under pressure to be more competitive with starting salaries and hiring bonuses.

Several local school districts are raising starting salaries for new teachers to $60,000 or more. Many districts have also started recruiting earlier in an effort to fill vacancies by the next school year.

As the school year draws to a close, districts are already hiring for next year.

Garland ISD is increasing teachers’ starting salaries to $60,000, granting raises to current teachers and staff, and offering signing bonuses between $500 and $1,000 to other employees.

“It’s time to retain our great staff. And the way to do that is to reward them and say we appreciate what you’re doing, we appreciate what you’ve been through and we’re going to try to get you to where you think that we understand the pain you have caused,” Garland ISD administrator Larry Glick said.

Dallas ISD says new teachers can earn between $60,000 and $70,000.

The Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs offer hiring bonuses of up to $5,000.

“Our high school English language math, science or arts and reading are getting an additional $3,000 because these are our most needed areas, as are many other districts around us,” said Fort Talent Director Raul Pena. Worth ISD.

Fort Worth has over 200 vacancies to fill. Thanks to the new incentives, the district was able to hire nearly 140 teachers last month.

“We still can’t keep up with the vacancies we have because they just happened at a higher rate than usual,” Pena said.

Teachers’ unions say many more teachers are retiring. On top of that, hiring managers say fewer college graduates are heading into teaching.

“It’s not an attractive profession right now,” said Steven Poole of the United Educators Association. “Not only is the pay low compared to other professions, but the workload is immense. And there are a lot of people who come into the profession realizing it’s not for me.”

Teachers’ union representatives from metroplex districts say the changes are an improvement over starting salaries that were in the low to mid-50s, but more changes need to happen.

“It’s not just the salary. It’s also the working conditions. The teachers are tired and the teachers are burnt out,” Poole said. “So we really need to look at the profession, what are our expectations of teachers? »

Fort Worth ISD is also considering raising salaries for entry-level teachers. This decision could come in a month or two. They’re having an upcoming job fair next week on May 12 from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

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