Wichita Falls ISD approves waiver to combat teacher shortages

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 12:01 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Teacher shortages continue to be a problem around the country and school districts in Texoma are not exempt. Wichita Falls ISD introduced a new plan on Tuesday to help out.

WFISD school board officials approved a waiver certification for teachers during Tuesday’s meeting. This will allow them to hire teachers without the proper certifications.

“We’ve got many vacancies in the district, we’re trying to fill those,” WFISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said. “There is a statewide shortage of teachers which has trickled down to Wichita Falls ISD and schools around the state, so we’re looking for teachers. Teachers are looking for jobs, so why not marriage those two things together and get more teachers in here by providing them other opportunities.”

Some districts have been using permanent subs to combat the shortage, while others have been increasing classroom size.

WFISD has cut down the vacancies to fewer than 10, but school officials feel this new waiver will help them fill positions quickly, especially at two schools that are in danger of losing special programs.

“Having alternative certifications available to us is an opportunity for teachers to come into the district work while getting their certifications,” Lee said.

The plan is to get this is in place as soon possible.

“I think anytime you can give more teachers the option to come work for your school district instead of building up fences or barriers for employment, it’s a win,” Lee said.