MPS still has teacher vacancies going into the school year
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Public Schools has hired about 400 teachers over the past several months as it deals with a wave of retirements.
The district held job fairs over the past year in an effort to plug all its holes.
The district's Chief Human Capitol Officer, Dr. Karen R. Jackson, says they're ready for the year. "Every single class that they have will be staffed by a qualified person and there will be no instances of classes being larger because of staffing issues," Jackson said.
There are still a few dozen vacancies. Some of those vacancies will be filled by the time school starts. The ones that aren't will be filled with substitute teachers.
MPS relaxed its residency rule last year in an effort to attract new candidates. Then over the summer the state got rid of the rule entirely. Jackson says that did have an impact on hiring, but it's too early to say yet if it's significant.
"What we're finding, interestingly enough, is that many people who went to the suburbs had history of working in MPS. So they are returning to MPS," Jackson said.
The district's recruiting effort stretched well outside Milwaukee. "We did recruit five Spanish speaking teachers. Four of them were from Spain and one was from Puerto Rico," Jackson said.
The district is likely to expand efforts to recruit outside US borders as it searches for more bilingual teachers.