Many NC students will start the school year with a sub
Posted August 29, 2016 5:11 a.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 2:04 p.m. EDT
School districts across the state say they have somewhat fewer teacher vacancies going into this school year than they did in 2015. But many students will still have substitutes for the first weeks of school.
Johnston County Schools had 59 vacancies on Friday, down from 69 at this time last year.
The district is faring a little better than last year due to more aggressive recruiting, according to Johnston schools' Human Resources Director Brian Vetrano.
"We've spent more time and money in recruiting," he said. "In addition to attending, I think, every university job fair in the state, we traveled out of state as well," he added, saying Johnston sent representatives to states as far away as New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Vetrano said like many North Carolina districts, Johnston is suffering from a slowdown in the teacher pipeline.
"Even today if the state were to increase teacher salaries above and beyond what they already have, we're still faced with not having a sufficient number of college graduates in those areas," he said.
Enrollment in UNC schools of education has dropped 30 percent since 2010. The downward trend is playing out in other states as well.
In addition, Vetrano said Johnston and other small, rural districts have it harder than large urban districts like Wake County, because they can't offer competitive local salary supplements. Most school districts pay teachers a local salary supplement on top of the base salary paid by the state. Those range from a few hundred dollars, to thousands, depending on the size and wealth of the district.