Harrison District 2 facing major teacher shortage

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-11 20:17:55-04

The Harrison School District in Colorado Springs is facing a teacher shortage.

As of Monday afternoon, they have 165 open positions online district-wide, more than 80 of which are teacher positions.

School Board President Steve Seibert said that District 2 is actively and aggressively working to fill these positions now before students return to school.

But they still have a long way to go.

A little more than one month before students in the Harrison School District go back to school, many classrooms are still vacant.

"There’s always a lot of turnover when you have that much staff, with the market being tight, the climate," Seibert said.

Based on a quick check of their website, there are 165 vacant positions in District 2, 81 of which are teacher positions.

"There are many spouses who have relocated with husbands, I know the other districts around are recruiting heavily and so there is a percentage lost to other districts, some resignations and such," he said.

This comes less than a month after Superintendent Dr. Andre Spencer resigned.

District 2 refused to comment, but President Seibert did answer our questions over the phone and said, just last month, the school board made an emergency decision to help make their teacher pay more competitive.

"A stop gap measure to be able to recruit and hire a little bit higher qualified applicant to be able to place them a step or two higher on the pay scale," he said.

On top of that, with teacher pay issues at the top of their mind following nationwide distress, the board says they are proposing a 3% adjustment to their entire pay scale across the board.

"We haven’t had a scale adjustment for several years and wanted to keep up competitively with the scale and making a scale adjustment, you’re adjusting all employees, not just new hires," he said.

And for any unfilled positions, they will be relying on Teach For America to help fill their classrooms.

"But I know that we are aggressively and actively interviewing and hiring and making offers to applicants," he said.

Students in Harrison School District 2 will return to class on August 15th.

If you are interested in applying, click here for a link to their updated list of openings.