PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — As staffing issues continue to plague school districts across the country, Pflugerville ISD is reminding people elementary teachers, along with English, math, science and social studies teachers at the middle and high school levels do not initially need a certification to start.
Once on board, the district will pay for teachers to get their certification.
Superintendent Doug Killian talked with KXAN’s Tom Miller about staffing, safety and the return to normalcy. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Miller: I want to start talking about school safety, it’s something a lot of parents are thinking about. Are you prepared for an active shooter situation, and how are you doing when it comes to having school resource officers on campus?
Killian: We have our own police department, we actually have had the police department since 2010, 2010-11, I believe that time frame. We’ve had really good cooperation with the City of Pflugerville, but the big thing I would say about school safety is we could always be better prepared. This week, we actually did a school safety drill and an active shooter drill for three days. We had great cooperation with our city and our emergency services district. We also had constables in the district, so we’ve been practicing our plans, and we’re on heightened alert. Now could we use more money from the state legislature to do safety? Absolutely.
Miller: What about staffing? That’s another problem where just about every district we’re talking to is saying they’re worried about the number of teachers that they still have vacancies for. Where do things stand, and what are you going to do about it?
Killian: We have the same kind of challenge. We’ve been doing a lot of things. We’ve been doing a lot more recruiting, going out, trying to get people who have bachelor’s degrees to consider going into education, and we’re actually paying for folks to get their certification, and to complete degrees. We’re in pretty good shape, but I’ll tell you, I’ve had to do some pretty hard things recently. We’ve moved out pullout (gifted and talented) teachers back in the classroom, because I just can’t justify having a pullout teacher when we might have a sub in the classroom. Really, the truth is not enough people are going into public education as a career, and we need help, so I would say, we’re hiring.
Miller: What are some things that you’re looking forward to and that you want your families to look forward to?
Killian: Well we want to have a normal school year. A school year where everyone is involved, where kids are learning, they’re involved in activities, parents are on our campuses, they’re really engaged, and so I want to go back to the 2019-2020 school year when all those things were possible.