Fort Worth Independent School District held a job fair where teachers were hired immediately if they met the necessary qualifications. Calling the event a “Back-to-School Hiring Extravaganza,” the school district sought to fill empty positions with new employees for the upcoming school year.
Hoping to fill roughly 350 vacant positions, Fort Worth ISD hosted the event on Thursday, July 28. Applicants could walk in with their resumes, and the district expected that some would walk out with a job.
The district’s chief talent officer, Raúl Peña, explained, “Our goal is to not let anyone leave without a job.” If someone left without a job, they would be asked again about their resume.
Peña said the district was “hiring all positions, including substitute positions.” A prospect who was missing certification was told the district would “help pay for their certification so [FWISD] can get them into [its] classrooms.”
Successful applicants were promised benefits such as sign-on bonuses, professional development, and the opportunity to make a difference in students’ lives. One of the significant draws the school district hoped would attract potential employees was the potential for candidates to be offered a job on the spot.
Other social media posts showed dozens of school booths along with lines of applicants speaking with onboarding personnel.
This is not the first time Fort Worth ISD has conducted a hiring drive. In December of 2021, first-time teachers were offered packages that could reach nearly $70,000 per year after factoring in sign-on bonuses and stipends.
On Friday, Fort Worth ISD announced that 20 out of the district’s 27 high schools were ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Its top performing school was the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, ranked 21 in the state and 130 in the nation.
Despite this recognition, Fort Worth ISD continues to have a below-average graduation rate for Texas. A four-year longitudinal study on the class of 2020 indicated that 87.7% of district students graduated high school on time, lower than the statewide average of 90.3%.
With a current enrollment of roughly 75,000 students, potentially as many as 9,000 students could fail to graduate on time if the district’s graduation rate remains consistent. Nevertheless, Fort Worth ISD still topped Dallas ISD, whose less-than-impressive graduation rate was 82.8% in 2020.