School Districts Seeing Over 400 Vacant Positions

By Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND/ODESSA - Not enough school personnel is an issue most districts are dealing with in the Basin. Some districts are seeing over 400 vacant positions at the end of this year and they only expect to see more.

"I think this is probably more than we have ever had. We normally have a lot this year but this is certainly more than we have had in the past," Paul Hooper, Director of Certified Personnel, said.

They are seeing these resignations across the board. Right now, they have about 113 administrative positions open like teachers and nurses and 300 auxiliary positions.

"Teacher assistant, custodial staff, transportation. We are having a large number as well as child nutrition services," Hooper said.

MISD says they also had more people leave during the school year than they would normally expect. ECISD is also in need of more employees.

"We have probably somewhere between 250 and 300 openings district wide," Mike Adkins, ECISD Public Information Officer, said.

Schools districts know that more resignations could come before the summer is over. That is why they are trying to recruit people at job fairs and do as much as they can to get people to work for the district. However, it's not easy competing with the oil field and the poor housing situation.

"We are trying to help people with locating places to live. We are keeping up with the vacancies that our apartment complexes have," Hooper said.

"What we have done is asked our own employees if they have an available room. If they have a spare bedroom if they are interested in having a tenant for a while," Adkins said.

The schools districts hope that at least they will be able to fill the primary teaching positions that are available and they hope that they get more applicants for the other vacant job areas. They are constantly recruiting at job fairs and online. But if they don't they fill the positions they will find a way to mange to keep schools running.