HOUSTON, Texas — Landing a job at Ortiz Middle School near Hobby Airport is something Brittany Dominguez did through Houston ISD’s alternative certification program.
"I'm going into my second year this fall," Dominguez said in a previous interview with KHOU 11 News. "It doesn't matter what walk of life you're coming from, what career you're coming from, what school you're coming from. The program makes it very easy for you to feel supported and to transfer into this new career."
Recruiting people from other careers is one of the ways the state’s largest district and others are trying to combat a teacher shortage.
According to HISD's website, the district had 880 vacancies as of last week.
The area’s second-largest district, Cy-Fair ISD, reported 472 teaching openings.
Those numbers are subject to change daily.
Here's a breakdown of all five of the area's largest districts:
- HISD: 880
- CFISD: 472
- Fort Bend ISD: 275
- Aldine ISD: 409
- Katy ISD: 200
"And we’re paying as much as we’ve ever paid,” Deer Park ISD superintendent Stephen Harrell said.
Harrell said his district is doing great compared to most with only a few vacancies.
But all districts are fighting for the same people as research shows fewer people go to college to become teachers.
"You know, I was talking to HR today and we just don’t have the applicant pool that we’ve had in the past,” Harrell said.
While districts try and deal with shortages in the classroom, getting students to school may be challenging, too.
HISD and other large districts had hundreds of bus driver openings at last check.
They've spent the summer hosting job fairs and offering on-site training and incentives to try and recruit new drivers.
Adjusting bell schedules and routes are ways they’re trying to make the most of those they do have behind the wheel.