Teacher Shortage In MISD English Language Learners Program

Teacher Shortage In MISD English Language Learners Program

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Midland ISD is suffering a teacher shortage in the English Language Learners program, which currently has more than 2,000 students enrolled. 
The City of Midland continues to experience growth.

According to MISD, in the past four years, the number of languages in Midland has grown from 18 to 37. The diversity of students enrolling at MISD continues to increase the need for instructors.

"More students are coming in, needing both bilingual and ESL services. I've been in this department for four years and I've seen the department grow from 1,800 bilingual ESL students to now almost 3,000 students," says Joanna Rowley, Executive Director of the English Language Learners.

According to MISD, the most common native languages of the students enrolled in the ELL program are Spanish, Hakha-Chin and Vietnamese. 
The program director tells NewsWest9, due to this diversity, MISD is in need of one ESL elementary teacher in addition to five bilingual Spanish teachers for kinder through third grade.

Factors contributing to the teacher shortage include the high qualifications and Midland economy.

Rowley says, "Midland has seen the economic rise and the downfall and apartments are still extremely expensive for teachers to live in. So it's hard on a teacher with first year teacher's salary to move to Midland."

According to the program director, The ESL's current student to teacher ratio is 30:1 and their goal is to get it 22:1.