As school starts, WCS is facing teacher, bus driver vacancies


As school starts, WCS is facing teacher, bus driver vacancies

By SARAH GRACE TAYLOR

Williamson County Schools still has more than a hundred vacancies to fill for the 2017-18 school year including 57 certified or teaching positions.

“Our current openings are consistent with the types of openings we’ve had in the past,” Leigh Webb, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources said. “Most of our openings are in hard-to-fill areas.”

The areas with the most need are in chemistry, math, special education, Spanish language and school psychology.

“The certifications just in the area of chemistry, Spanish and special education … the number of certifications coming out of local colleges and universities in those fields are limited,” Webb said. “I think you’ll see that statewide those positions are difficult to fill.”

The county is also looking for teacher’s assistants, substitute teachers and before/after-school care workers.

According to Webb, the vacancies are highest in areas with the most rapid growth. This year, Franklin schools are experiencing higher-than-projected growth, resulting in concentrated vacancies at Franklin High School and Grassland Middle School.

In addition to the school jobs open, Superintendent Mike Looney says the nationwide bus driver drought is fostering another substantial vacancy in the county.

However, Looney says a bus driver pay increase implemented this year has helped to retain and recruit drivers, slowly closing the gap.

“We are in a much better position this year than we have been in recent years,” Looney said. “We’re still not out of the woods … but we are faring pretty well.”

Looney continued to say that while bus driver numbers look good now, a number of drivers end up quitting before or during the first week of school every year.

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