Teacher shortage impacting Louisiana calls for new recruitment efforts

A teacher shortage stills looms in Louisiana.
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 5:40 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A teacher shortage stills looms in Louisiana.

“We surveyed human resource directors across the state. We made a determination that we need 2,520 additional teachers in the state,” says Louisiana School Superintendent Cade Brumley.

In the capital region, school districts are having to get creative.

“You never know what will happen, people have to leave for a variety of reasons,” explains West Rouge Interim Superintendent David Corona.

WBR school leaders say recruiting new teachers and staff never stops. Currently, they have a total of five vacancies they want to fill.

“We don’t have that many vacancies, but we are always looking to hire good people, even if we were full, and if we came across a good candidate, we’d hire them,” adds Corona.

Corona explains they are being more lenient on education requirements. For example, they could hire someone with a degree in French to teach a French class, versus turning them away if they do not have a degree in education. Corona says this strategy is all about staying ahead of the shortage.

“We always need to have a bench,” explains East Baton Rouge School Chief Human Resource Officer Nichola Hall. “It’s almost like a basketball team. I need to have a bench just in case my five-star plays are out.”

EBR has 257 positions open, and 183 are teacher positions. EBR school leaders are taking a different approach to help potential employees fill out their applications online.

“So, what we’ve done over the last two months is to invite these individuals to come over for about two hours every Wednesday. We sit them down, and we have literally an HR specialist or a team. They are with them, and we have them sit for about 15 minutes. We upload their documents, we answer all of their questions, and we help them complete the application,” says Hall.

Hall explains since starting this new recruitment process, they have been able to hire almost 60 people. Much like West Baton Rouge, Hall says they will be actively looking for new employees throughout the year.

“So, this is an ongoing process. This past recruitment was maybe the spring, and just when school is about to open, the strategy this year, since I’ve joined the team, it’s an ongoing process,” adds Hall.

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