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CCSD retirees allowed to fill ‘critical’ teaching jobs

Updated April 26, 2024 - 9:04 am

The challenge to find applicants to fill “critical” teaching jobs has the Clark County School District moving to make it easier to hire retired employees to resume their education careers.

School Board trustees voted unanimously Thursday to seek to offer vacant jobs to qualified retirees if the district can provide proof, under a state law, that it has exhausted attempts to recruit nonretirees, according to board documents.

The effort involves categorizing each difficult-to-fill district position as a “critical labor shortage area” starting from July 1 and running through June 30 of next year.

The vacant positions listed by the district fall into a broad range of classifications. They include elementary and high school P.E., business, gifted and talented, social studies, pre-K, kindergarten and grades 1-5 teachers; high school math, science and English teachers; substitute teachers; school bus drivers; secondary career and technical education instructors; and special education teachers.

The impact of a nationwide teacher shortage on school districts has compelled CCSD to look toward “creative recruitment strategies to recruit, hire, and retain qualified candidates to fill vacancies,” district officials said in a statement.

“As utilized in previous years, the critical labor shortage waiver allows recently retired personnel to return to the classroom to begin serving in those positions without delay,” the statement said. “These efforts eliminate hiring barriers for qualified educators looking to return to the profession after retiring,” the statement read. “Potential candidates will undergo the traditional hiring process including background checks.”

The district has been there before. The same thing occurred in 2019, 2021, 2022 and last year, when the board reported that while 94 percent of its classrooms were filled, 247 critical labor shortage positions were vacant, plus 40 unfilled bus driver jobs.

To comply with the Nevada law to hire retirees, the district will have to compile a written report showing that it has tried and failed to hire nonretired educator candidates to fill the positions.

The requirements mean that the district report will have to detail “the history of the rate of turnover for the position; the number of openings for the position and the number of qualified candidates for those openings after all other efforts of recruitment have been exhausted; the length of time the position has been vacant; the difficulty in filling the position due to special circumstances, including, without limitation, special educational or experience requirements for the position; and the history and success of the efforts to recruit for the position, including, without limitation, advertising, recruitment outside of this State, and all other efforts made.”

The rules the district must follow are in NRS 286.523, which became law in 2022 and requires the “designating authority” — in this case the CCSD board — to prepare the report arguing for the hiring of retirees for critical positions.

“It is the policy of this State to ensure that the reemployment of a retired public employee pursuant to this section is limited to positions of extreme need,” the statute reads.“The retired employee forfeits all retirement allowances for the duration of that employment.”

Contact Jeff Burbank at jburbank@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0382. Follow him @JeffBurbank2 on X.

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