Vacancies taking toll on area teachers; District and county leaders work to fill positions

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Many schools districts are experiencing hundreds of teacher vacancies and working tirelessly to fill critical positions.

The Durham County School Districts says there are 228 vacancies, which is about the same as last year, but much higher than 2020.

There are 287 teacher openings in the Wake County School District and reportedly more than 400 in the Cumberland County School District since last year.

"They need a lot of help," said Fayetteville parent Latasha Garcia.

She says a teacher shortage hasn't directly impacted her kids, but knows of an incident at their school.

"One of the teachers in my niece's class, she left in the middle of class time over frustrations," said Garcia.

Wake says its vacancies account for about 2.4 percent of the workforce and it is expecting the rate to shrink as, "hiring season moves into full swing in the coming weeks."

Kristin Beller, President of the NCAE-Wake Chapter, says some schools are going better than others and overall, there's more pressure on existing staff to pick up responsibilities.

"Everybody in our school district is stretching themselves past where they ought to be," said Beller.

The NCAE is calling on the Wake County Board of Commissioners to increase funding for non-certified staff from $15 an hour to $16.

"That is still not a living wage in Wake County but at this time, the County Manager's budget proposal doesn't even fund that," said Beller. "They have the opportunity to make non-certified positions just a little bit more desirable for community members."

Cumberland is going to try and tackle vacancies this weekend at a job fair. It will be held Saturday at the Crown Expo Center from 9:00am until 12:00pm.
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