The Killeen Independent School District has announced a job fair this weekend in Harker Heights, and they are hoping to sign about 500 teachers before the start of the next school year.
The district currently has about 3,000 teachers on staff.
While school officials say they are not dealing with a staffing shortage right now, they could be if they can’t keep up with the growing student population.
Killeen school district’s student population is expected to grow to 45,000 next year.
“With the kind of growth we’re having, it’s great that we have people flocking to the school district. People that want to be a part of our district. Families that want to move here because this is a great place to live, but it also presents a challenge for us,” Abbott said.
With more students pouring in, more teachers are needed to run the classrooms.
“When someone walks out the door knowing more than when they went in. There’s a feeling to that kind of satisfaction that you can’t beat,” says Killeen Education Association President Rick Beaule.
Beaule is a music teacher who has been leading students for 14 years. However, the district has struggled to retain long-term instructors.
“We have our biggest attrition rate at teachers between years one and three. Because these are young teachers who have just gone into the teaching profession. They have other options to. They’re still looking at other potential careers,” Abbott said.
Beaule believes many of his colleagues get out of the business early because they’re not satisfied with their salaries.
“The job that educators do in bringing the future, educating the future, teaching the future, investing in our future, is something that is an enormous undertaking,” Beaule said.
Abbott says the school district plans to increase it’s starting teacher salaries this coming year to keep with competing career fields.