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Coastal Bend districts see staffing shortages heading into the new school year

A quick survey of school employment websites in Nueces County shows that there are jobs available across the board.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It has been a busy summer for school administrators as they have worked to improve security, adjust COVID-19 protocols and hire more teachers.

It's a job that seems to be never-ending, and with more than 57,000 Nueces County students to serve, one that is becoming more difficult to do.

The school bell is ready to ring in several districts. Students with the Corpus Christi Independent School District are set to return one week from Tuesday, on Aug. 9.

Flour Bluff Independent School District will follow on Aug. 10, and Calallen ISD on Aug. 11. The question many parents are asking, though, is who will be waiting for them when the classroom door is opened?

It has been a tough three years for Texas public schools -- from making the shift between online and in-person instruction, to debates over masks and what should or shouldn't be taught in the classroom, to questions and fears regarding school safety.

A quick survey of school employment websites in Nueces County shows that there are jobs available across the board. For instance, both the Flour Bluff and Calallen school districts each have about 30 openings on their website, with some of the positions looking for multiple people.

In addition to bus drivers, food service employees, maintenance workers and aides in many areas, we also saw listings for math, English, social studies, science, health, speech, technology and choir teachers.

Turn to what is by far our latest school district, and CCISD shows around 150 openings, with about 75 of those advertising for teachers and coaches. 

A district spokesperson says that while some those vaccines have come about due to internal promotions, that number is higher than normal. 

We're also told that they are interviewing and hiring people everyday, and that they plan to start the new year with substitute teachers in place as needed. 

The job listings may also be found on district websites. 

Since 2018, our state has seen about 7,600 teachers retire each year. In 2021, that number jumped by 1,000. At least two questions come to mind with all of this. 

First, if residents are going to rely on substitutes for an indefinite period of time, do you have enough of those to fill the gap? Second, will having fewer teachers lead to larger class sizes? 

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