AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thursday, Lampasas, Llano and Gause Independent School Districts begin the school year.
Many of the school districts across Central Texas have been facing similar problems: the need for additional security and a lack of staff. Lampasas ISD Superintendent Chane Rascoe believes he knows why it has been tough to recruit educators.
“We’ve obviously faced a lot of challenges over the last couple of years,” he said. “I’ll say, the political attacks on school districts, for us and in other districts is a big concern going into the year. Right now, educators as a whole, teachers, our entire system… at times, we do feel like it’s been tough on us, and I feel personally that society as a whole needs to focus on the great job that educators have done.”
Rascoe said at this time they “can’t find teachers. We’re struggling to be able to find educators to come into our schools and help our kids. That has to change.”
Last year, Rascoe said the district felt the brunt of that hurdle. The district was down four teacher positions leaders simply couldn’t fill. In response, this year, the district started recruiting early.
“We hired extra with the intention of keeping those numbers high, all the way through the summertime,” Rascoe explained. “I’ll give you an example of one campus, we had three extra, and we ended up hiring those three extra three different times between April and May, so that gave us nine teachers that we would not have hired if we would not have started hiring those extra teachers in that time period. But that campus as a whole right now, even though we hired there was extra. It’s now they have only one extra month left on the campus, so it led us to a campus that is fully staffed, but it’s one that if we wouldn’t have planned ahead, we’d be down at least seven or eight teachers right now.”
When it comes to security, they are currently working to hire two school resource officers but haven’t had much luck.
“At this time, there may only be one or two applicants, that’s all we received, because nobody wants to go into those public service sectors because of the way these people have been treated for so long,” he said. “It’s time to change the dialogue to that of being positive to promote and encourage education, and public education and make these people feel valued.”