LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — With the first day of school just four days away, the Clark County School District is working hard to fill open positions.
Preparations for the first day of school are underway for kindergarten teacher, Kristan Nigro, getting her classroom ready at Schorr Elementary School.
"Definitely can't wait. I know that my roster has 21 little wonderful kindergarteners on it,” she said.
Nigro has been teaching for more than a decade, but there will be plenty of new faces across CCSD. District officials say about 1,100 new teachers have been hired thanks to increased recruiting efforts and attractive incentives.
"One is obviously the new teacher starting salary. The $50,115, which makes us much more competitive with other districts in the southwest and mountain regions,” said Brian Redmond, CCSD director of recruitment.
This comes during a nationwide teacher shortage. Hiring is underway for the more than 1,400 open licensed positions posted on CCSD’s website and newly hired teachers are currently going through training and onboarding before getting in the classroom.
"That could take up to four to six weeks. If you have a teacher hire today, they'll be in a classroom hopefully in about four weeks from now,” Redmond said.
To retain current teachers, bonuses up to $5000 are being given to full-time employees using covid relief funds. Nigro says the recruitment and bonuses are a good start but there's room for improvement in teacher salaries.
"They deserve a working wage if not, more. It's not just the working wage we're looking for. We're looking for something that identifies these are hardworking individuals who are highly educated."
District officials also want to make clear there is enough staffing to have a teacher in every classroom across the district with substitutes and central staff ready to fill in when needed.