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DISD Pulls Office Staff to Teach Kids

Education

Dallas ISD | Image by NBC DFW

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Last week, The Dallas Express reached out to the Dallas Independent School District to see how the district is handling its teacher retention problem.

While a district representative did not return a request for comment, events that transpired thereafter further exposed just how dire the situation is at DISD.

The district has reportedly pulled 45 staff members from its central office and reassigned them to fill vacancies in classrooms, according to a press release, per Community Impact.

“We’ve been working very hard to make sure that we’ve been putting quality educators in front of our students in the classroom,” claimed the district’s director of human capital, Steven Jackson.

“Some people from our central office who are certified teachers, we have asked them to go into the classrooms and help out with teaching those students until we find a permanent person [for] that classroom,” he stated.

For her part, Nina Lakhiani, a DISD media relations official, stated, “These are all previous educators who have the knowledge and experience to lead a classroom.”

It is unclear whether that means all of the 45 office staff members are currently certified or just some of them.

DISD has struggled for years to get enough certified teachers to fill its classrooms, resorting to recruitment programs that place prospective educators in classrooms to learn while actively teaching, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

Community Impact further reported that roughly 140 to 150 unfilled teaching positions remain at DISD. This begs the question, what is happening with the students without teachers? It is possible educators are taking on bigger class sizes, something multiple studies have concluded is not conducive to learning.

It seems the district has grown increasingly desperate. Almost two months into the school year, it held an “all-level teacher job fair” on Tuesday where “interested applicants” could be interviewed by principals and hiring teams on the spot.

The Dallas Express again reached out to DISD for comment on the current crisis. We asked them to confirm whether these staff members were pulled from their regular duties or had previously been slated to fill in the gap. We also asked if all 45 are state-certified educators, as Jackson seemed to claim.

No response from DISD was received by the time of publication. A spokesperson for DISD later contacted The Dallas Express on October 18 to clarify that all 45 staff members drafted to teach are state certified.

Note: This article was updated on October 18 at 1:40 p.m. to include clarification from DISD.

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Jsn Tennyson
Jsn Tennyson
1 month ago

Can retired teachers work part time?