PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) – Pflugerville ISD had 65 teacher vacancies when classes began this school year. As similar shortages take place across the state, the struggle of retaining teachers has not gone unnoticed by local parents.

While the vacancies are just about 3% of PfISD’s teacher population of 1,897, the district has moved educational staff around in the last month and a half to accommodate its vacant classrooms.

In July, the district notified its instructional coaches that they would be taking over roles in the classroom teaching students this year. Typically, instructional coaches help train and guide new teachers as they navigate their inaugural semesters. Gifted and Talented teachers have also been moved over in a similar fashion.

Tamra Spence, chief communications officer for PfISD, said via email: “Our first priority in education is to ensure that we have a certified teacher in every classroom. As our ICs and G/T teachers are all certified, and majority, if not all, have previously served as teachers. Due to this, it is easiest for them to serve again in the classroom when there is an immediate need to serve our students.”

Rushell Megerle walked her fourth-grade son to school Tuesday morning. She says she has noticed that teachers left their jobs in Pflugerville for one reason or another and is thankful for the educators who have stayed the course.

“We lost a lot of teachers this year in Pflugerville because of the pandemic or for whatever reason they decided not to come back,” said Megerle. “It’s nice that the teachers that are showing up are here and ready to work.”

While there is no short-term solution for PfISD, Spence says the district is continuing to search for qualified candidates to regain its full teaching force.