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School district’s teacher shortage list grows

English teachers are being added to the Clark County School District’s list of positions experiencing a “critical labor shortage.”

Every two years, the district must identify its areas of hard-to-fill teaching positions, which protects those teachers in layoffs, even if they are low on the seniority totem pole.

The district’s contract with the teachers union specifies that newest employees are the first to go in reductions, regardless of individual performance. The practice is commonly called “last hired, first fired.”

Math, science and special education teachers remain on the shortage list as usual, according to the district’s Chief Human Resources Officer Staci Vesneske.

The Clark County School Board approved the addition of English teachers to the critical shortage list Thursday night.

Math and science positions are hard to fill because of the education and certifications teachers must have to work in these fields. English has been added for similar reasons, said Vesneske, referring to the state certification test that prospective English teachers are finding hard to pass.

With school starting Monday, the district is short 33 English teachers on top of needing 110 teachers in the three other fields, which is normal.

“But we’re trying to change normal here,” she said.

The district is finding it most difficult to find special education teachers. There are 74 unfilled positions in the field because it’s hard to find people willing to do the work, she said.

In addition to the 143 positions that remain empty in these fields, the country’s fifth-largest school district is still looking for 207 teachers in other various content areas. If it doesn’t fill these spots, the district must resort to long-term substitutes.

Contact reporter Trevon Milliard at tmilliard@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0279.

 

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