PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — As teacher shortages continue across the state, school districts are finding ways to fill vacancies in classrooms ahead of the new school year.

Pflugerville ISD is combatting the shortages by asking its instructional coaches to serve as full-time classroom teachers for the upcoming year, according to Pflugerville ISD’s chief communication officer Tamra Spence.

“Although our district worked extremely hard with filling our classrooms for the Fall, we still have many classrooms without a certified teacher. This situation is not unique to Pflugerville ISD as many districts throughout the state and nation are dealing with the same reality. For this reason, we have asked our Instructional Coaches, who are certified teachers, to serve as full-time classroom teachers for the upcoming year,” Spence explained.

Spence said the district is moving to a centralized instructional coach model, in which it’ll have district-level instructional coaches who support multiple campuses.

She said the district hopes to be able to reinstate its instructional coach positions for the 2023-24 school year, but for now, the district’s instructional coaches will support its campuses and teachers.

Across Central Texas

School boards across Central Texas are trying to do what they can to keep employees in their districts.

The Austin ISD held job fairs and offered incentives to try to fill the nearly 500 positions it had open earlier in the summer.

“We have different opportunities, different incentives, that we have just newly announced… $500 sign-on incentive for teacher assistants, special ed teaching assistants receive a $1,000 incentive, and any employee hired before Sept. 1 is eligible for $2,000 retention incentive as well,” AISD assistant superintendent Norma Castillo said at a job fair in mid-July.

Hays County ISD has also felt the impact, but for its district, specialized areas are more of a concern. Ginger Blanchon, assistant director of talent acquisition at Hays CISD, explained at a job fair the district held in July.

“We are really looking for special education, bilingual positions, elementary positions,” Blanchon said.

Del Valle ISD also offered special incentives for new teachers earlier this summer, like gift cards and sign-on incentives.