Even as the 2022-2023 school year begins for Denver Metro Public Schools, many districts are desperately trying to fill vacancies — well over 2,000 of them.
On Aug. 8, the same day most students arrived for their first day of classes, the Douglas County School District listed 481 available jobs, ranging from full-time teachers and paraprofessionals to behavioral specialists and managers. of child care.
Of course, the Douglas County School District has been a lightning rod for controversy since the February firing of Superintendent Corey Wise, and the subsequent resignation of Sid Rundle, the highly respected DCSD Special Education Services Officer, was seen as an indication that a mass exodus of concerned teachers could soon take place.
Yet the situation in Douglas County is not isolated. Aurora Public Schools, which is serving students in grades one through 12 today, August 9, listed 240 open jobs on August 8. And this morning, Jefferson County Public Schools will hold what is described as a “special education hiring event” to find people to fill 482 positions.
Jeffco is looking to recruit learning specialists at the kindergarten, elementary and secondary levels; center experts working with emotional needs, autism spectrum disorders and students who need significant support; mental health providers; para-educators; speech therapists and more. His pitch notes that “benefits-eligible positions” are available, with “PERA retirement,” “opportunity to grow,” and the opportunity to “be integral to educating and enriching student lives. “.
Another potential selling point: Last week, Jefferson County Public Schools and the Jefferson County Education Association reached a tentative agreement for a new contract. While final ratification by JCEA members and the Jeffco School Board is pending, the pact includes a new salary schedule that starts at $50,000 and ends at just over $100,000, as well as what the union describes as “a move toward equity in time scheduling between elementary and secondary educators” and “contract enhancements that protect the workload of staff who work with our most vulnerable students.”
Support staff receive much less compensation and the lack of interest in these positions had a significant impact last year. On Nov. 12, the Boulder Valley School District, Adams 12 Five Star Schools and Adams 14 Schools all had to cancel classes, and three Denver Public Schools facilities temporarily switched to remote learning for the day due to lack of staff. Among the reasons for the shortcomings cited by educators at the time were the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in combination with terrible pay rates for paraprofessionals and substitute teachers, who could often earn more money. serving burgers at In-N-Out than doing the often difficult and always stressful job of educating the next generation of metro Denver residents.
That situation may be improving at Denver schools, thanks to an agreement late last month to raise the starting pay for paraprofessionals, classroom aides, and custodians to $20 an hour starting July 1. August – a significant increase from the previous $15.87 for most of these positions. But the district still abounds in outlets; its search tool caps those it will display at 350, and it quickly reaches that limit.
Here’s more information about job postings in other districts in the Denver metro area as of August 8, along with schedules and school links:
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
First day of school (K-9): Tuesday, August 16
Job offers: 310
Adams County School District 14
Back to school: Tuesday, August 9
Littleton Public Schools
Back to school: Wednesday August 17
Boulder Valley School District
First day of school (K-5, sixth and ninth grades): Wednesday, August 17
Cherry Creek Public Schools
Back to school: Monday, August 15
Add up the job postings for those five districts plus Dougco, Jeffco and Aurora, and the total comes to 2,133 — and that’s not counting Denver.
The Jefferson County Public Schools Hiring Event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, August 9, at 13300 West 2nd Place in Lakewood; click for more information.