AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Education Agency announced Tuesday it’s adding two dozen public school teachers to a task force focused on addressing staffing challenges in school systems across the state.
The agency launched the Teacher Vacancy Task Force last Thursday. Last week, KXAN reported out of the 28 members on the task force, only two were teachers when it first launched.
TEA said with the addition of more classroom teachers to the task force, the number of school system administrators and teachers are now equal. This way, the agency said the perspective of teachers can be fairly represented in discussions and recommendations on how to fix the staffing shortage in schools.
Since its launch, the task force has split up into “several workgroups to tackle the different challenges identified thus far,” according to the agency. KXAN previously reported the group would be exploring opportunities surrounding certification, placement and hiring flexibilities.
The decision to bring more classroom teachers on board came after the task force’s first meeting, TEA said. Dallas ISD math teacher Josue Tamarez Torres will serve as chair of the task force.
“I am honored for the opportunity to lead this task force focused on ensuring we have great teachers in every classroom,” said Torres in a press release. “The reason I got into education is because I believe that a student’s zip code shouldn’t determine his or her fate, and this Task Force has the ability to recommend the needed changes and innovative solutions necessary to ensure all Texas students have access to the high-quality educators they deserve.”