Teacher vacancies drop in Kyrene School District in 2022 amid changes

Oct 27, 2022, 4:45 AM
(Facebook Photo/Kyrene School District)...
(Facebook Photo/Kyrene School District)
(Facebook Photo/Kyrene School District)

PHOENIX — While many schools across Arizona face teacher shortages, one Valley school district saw vacancies drop in 2022 amid changes.

Prior to the start of the school year at Kyrene School District, vacancies were in the dozens, Lisa Gibson, executive director of talent management, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday.

Those vacancies included teachers, counselors, academic interventionists and special education teachers.

But as the school year continued, teacher vacancies began to drop across the school district.

“I believe currently we have approximately six to eight classroom teachers that are filled with a long-term sub,” Gibson said.

“We do have some other specialty positions that are like self-contained resource rooms or resource teachers that are filled with maybe a long-term sub or filled with a contractor…so we are lucky in the sense that our positions are filled, but some of the positions that are still considered to be vacant…we are still actively trying to hire for those positions. But they are filled.”

With a retention rate of about 85% this year, Gibson credited numerous factors, including the expansion of the amount of days a substitute teacher is allowed to teach at a school, an increase in payrate for long-term substitutes to $200 each day and salary increases for all employee groups.

Gibson said filling vacancies is critical for every students’ success.

“Students have that consistency in the classroom and that’s what they need…they need someone that they know is going to be there everyday when they show up,” Gibson said.

She added: “If they don’t have that consistency it’s very difficult for them academically and behaviorally, they need to have that support with a consistent teacher in the classroom.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Griselda Zetino contributed to this report.

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Teacher vacancies drop in Kyrene School District in 2022 amid changes