Jul 16, 2013 7:16 PM by Chris Welty
Principals across Lafayette Parish are waiting for the green light to fill open teaching positions.
At the end of the past school year, there were over 400 teacher openings. That's now down to 90. Administrators say they have 85 eligible candidates waiting to fill those spots.
The school year begins on August 14th, and the rush is on to find teachers. LPSS Human Resources Director Bruce Leininger says the district has seen two to three times more turnover than usual.
"Teachers retire, resign or move on to other locations or move away. This is routinely a busy time for school systems," said Leininger.
Principals haven't been able to hire because the school board still hasn't approved the budget for the current fiscal year. Despite that, Leininger says it's normal for districts to still be hiring this close to the new school year.
"Until we have an approved budget, technically, you don't really know who you can hire, but we haven't stopped the process," said Leininger.
One of the greatest issues for principals waiting so long to hire is they're losing out on potential candidates.
"They're taking jobs because they want to teach and they're well prepared. We are losing some quality hires that could be an asset to our parish," said Lafayette High Principal Patrick Leonard.
He says if they don't fill all the positions, class sizes will be slightly larger until they can hire new teachers.
"Every student will be placed with a certified teacher," said Leonard.
LHS has three positions to fill: physics, visually impaired and a strategist.
The fiscal year for the school system started on July first, but on Thursday, the budget is up for final adoption. The proposed budget cuts more than 100 teacher positions from schools that officials say were over staffed.
The schools receiving the biggest cuts are:
Alice Boucher: 8
Prairie Elementary: 7
J.W. Faulk: 7
Katherine Drexel: 6
The top 5 schools looking to hire:
Alice Boucher: 9
Paul Breaux: 8
Acadian Middle: 7
Moss Prep: 7
Carencro Middle, Evangeline Elementary: 5