Help for Teacher Vacancies: National Public, Private Partnerships Launched

Private sector leaders in Human Resources and talent recruitment are partnering with the federal government to help local school districts fill teacher and school staff vacancies.

Teachers are leaving the profession at a concerning rate around the country, and hiring new education staff remains a major challenge. Combined with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, local education agencies (LEAs) are facing a perfect storm scenario around the country.

Congress and the federal government have even taken interest in the problem. On August 30, the White House announced a series of new national public, private partnerships to address the issue:

This announcement includes new commitments from leading job platforms to make it easier for Americans to find opportunities in the education field, and new initiatives from teachers unions and national and state organizations to expand high-quality pathways into the profession for future teachers.

Leading talent recruitment and job platforms

The federal government has partnered with several talent recruitment and job platforms on a series of new actions to make it easier for states and school districts to source, recruit, and hire job seeking teachers and school professionals, and to help more Americans find jobs in education:

  • ZipRecruiter is launching a new online job portal specifically dedicated to K-12 school jobs. This portal will showcase job openings across public schools throughout the United States, including teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, social workers, mental health counselors, librarians, and more. Schools, districts, and states can partner with ZipRecruiter to have their open roles included for free. The job portal will also feature additional hiring resources including best practices for both job seekers and school districts’ human resource teams.
  • Handshake will help college students explore careers in education. In October 2022, Handshake will host a nationwide free virtual event to help current undergraduate students learn about pathways in the field of education, including teachers, guidance counselors, school mental health specialists, and school psychologists. This event will provide information on how educators can make an impact and provide practical advice about building a career in the teaching profession. Alongside the event, Handshake will publish a list of all schools and districts hiring students and college graduates for jobs this year, helping aspiring educators kick off their career search. The Handshake network includes 10 million current and recent students at 1,400 two-and four-year colleges and universities nationwide, including 281,000 who have pursued or are pursuing education degrees.
  • Indeed is announcing that it will facilitate virtual hiring fairs for educators throughout the country. These events will specifically focus on the hiring of teachers, administrators, counselors, and other staff. Participating entities will gain access to Indeed’s free suite of hiring tools to manage the end-to-end hiring process, from job postings through interviews.

Other federal efforts

  • The Department of Labor (DOL) is expanding high-quality programs that prepare and support teachers, including registered teacher apprenticeship programs. DOL is committing to prioritize the education sector in future apprenticeship funding, including its next round of over $100 million in apprenticeship grants, which will provide critical support for states and other partners looking to start and expand teacher apprenticeship programs. Students need qualified teachers who are prepared to teach them, and who reflect the diversity of our students. Teachers need affordable pathways into the profession. Registered teacher apprenticeship programs allow individuals – including those already working in schools, like teaching assistants – to earn while they learn, receiving pay while they gain teaching skills with the supervision of a mentor teacher, and take coursework to earn their teaching license. This allows teachers to gain robust experience in the classroom before leading their own, and makes becoming a teacher more affordable. Once registered by DOL or their state apprenticeship agency, state and local workforce boards can use Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I funds to support these programs. The Secretaries also encourage state and local workforce boards to collaborate with education systems to address non-instructional staffing shortages in schools.
  • DOL and the US Department of Education are encouraging governors and district leaders to use American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds and the $350 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds to increase teacher pay.

The situation in Maryland

Every school district in Maryland has experienced the challenges of school professional shortages in recent years, and, throughout the state, districts have tested and implemented a combination of strategies to combat the issue. Several have attempted to address the state’s teacher shortage via financial incentives like retention and hiring bonuses, while others have increased minimum pay for school support staff. Others have adjusted school calendars to incorporate more administrative days off and teacher wellness bonus days.

The challenge of school staffing was also a topic of concern during the 2022 legislative session, during which several initiatives to boost hiring and retention of school staff were considered and one bill was passed to provide support staff with $500 bonuses in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 and to study the issue of staffing shortages and pay.

Learn more about the new federal public, private partnerships.