Aug 15, 2022 - News

CMS is starting the school year with hundreds of teacher vacancies

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will start off the new school year with 377 teacher vacancies.

  • Currently, about 4% of educator positions are unfilled, according to district officials.

What’s happening: CMS is offering incentives, a $2,500 sign-on bonus, plus a $200 monthly stipend, for its most difficult roles to recruit and retain: exceptional children, secondary math and secondary science teachers.

A new strategy: This year, CMS teachers can cover classes for a semester during what would otherwise be their planning period. They would receive their state rate to prepare instruction after school instead.

Substitutes will also fill gaps.

  • Subs who take more than five assignments per month earn an extra $200, and those who cover over 10 assignments each month receive a $500 bonus.
  • Subs in Title 1 schools also receive an additional $20 a day.

By the numbers: Since the start of the last school year, more than 2,100 teachers separated from the district, according to CMS.

  • CMS’ starting teacher pay rate is $41,736, and the average teacher salary is $56,675.

Why it matters: The teacher shortage is a national problem that’s driven by burnout, low pay and ever-increasing demands, our Axios Local colleagues reported.

All over the country, districts are taking extraordinary measures to get teachers into classrooms before school starts.

Des Moines Public Schools, for instance, is offering a $50,000 incentive to teachers, nurses and administrators who are nearing retirement to stay with the district through the 2022-2023 school year.

  • The Florida Department of Education said recently it would issue a temporary teaching certificate to veterans “who have not yet earned their bachelor’s degree”

Meanwhile, at CMS, new teachers continue to come through the pipeline. This year 103 educators were hired through CMS’ teacher residency program.

CMS interim superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh told the school board Tuesday the program needs to expand “aggressively to ensure we open schools with teachers in the classroom in the future.”

Axios’ Jason Clayworth and Ben Montgomery contributed to this report.

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