“We’re trying to recruit as many English teachers as possible,” said Lissette Santiago, Public Information Officer for Coachella Valley Unified School District.
Where are the English teachers?
As the country continues to grapple with the staffing crisis among educators, school districts within the Coachella Valley are experiencing a unique type of teacher shortage.
“We’ve seen a trend for a need of English teachers in our district,” said Santiago.
Both Coachella Valley and Palm Springs Unified School Districts report few vacancies, but still a great need.
“This year, we haven’t seen too many vacancies in our district. However, traditionally us and other districts in the state, we’ve seen vacancies in special-ed or math or science, but this year we haven’t seen those vacancies as much. But we do have vacancies in the English department,” said Santiago.
“But we’re still looking for, interestingly enough, English teachers, which was more of a unique struggle this year, than in year’s past,” said Tony Signoret, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at PSUSD.
“And we still don’t know why that’s the trend this year,” said Santiago.
Officials say it’s not so much the salaries that have pushed teachers away, but the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
“I think it was more the pandemic and having to return under those conditions they experienced, so many found alternative careers,” said Dr. Luis Valentino, CVUSD Superintendent.
Now, school officials are scrambling to ensure that when students go to class, someone is there to teach them.
“We’re actively recruiting and we’ll continue to do so until all of our classes are filled with qualified teachers,” said Dr. Luis Valentino, CVUSD Superintendent. “It does require some incentives right now and all three school districts have applied some incentives in different ways to help them improve their effort.”