Staffing choices are fewer, district still ok
As the pool of qualified teaching applicants grows smaller, the Park City School District has once again managed to avoid any major staffing problems, so far.
"Relative to what the other districts have been through, we’re still in pretty good shape," said Human Resources Director Tim McConnell.
He has heard other Human Resource directors from districts around the state who face shortages, some as high as the double digits.
The state of Utah faces a challenge because the number of children in the area is growing exponentially and a larger workforce of teachers is needed. Universities in the area cannot produce enough teachers and the state must constantly recruit people from outside the area.
"Our local universities certainly don’t have the number of graduates that we need to hire, but that’s never going to be an opportunity," McConnell said.
With surrounding states offering attractive recruitment incentives like signing bonuses, paid relocation expenses and generous wages it is becoming more difficult to attract talent.
"At this point in time we’re fully staffed, but we are seeing similar trends with regards to the actual number of applicants we’re seeing," McConnell said.
Park City has been fortunate enough to not be as affected by the shortage. McConnell credits this in part to the benefits offered in the district.
"Our overall compensation package is the best in the state," he said.
This includes salary, insurance and the planning time the teachers are allowed.
With the requirements of becoming a qualified teacher getting more stringent, fewer are drawn to the work and there is tough competition for those that are.
"It’s also fairly daunting when you look at the requirements for No Child Left Behind," McConnell said.
But for now, the Park City School District is staffed and has dodged the bullet once again.
Teachers at a glance:
Number of teachers: 299
Licensed and endorsed: 268
Advanced degree: 163
English as a Second Language Endorsed: 108
National Board Certified: 5
Average years in the district: 8.9
Starting salary $31,304 or approximately $20 an hr
Top salary $67,524 or approximately $45 an hr
Turnover 9.5 percent
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