SC districts continue recruiting efforts to combat historic teacher shortages

Teacher shortages continue to be a challenge for school districts across South Carolina.
Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 7:32 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2023 at 10:17 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Teacher shortages continue to be a challenge for school districts across South Carolina.

Palmetto State Teachers Association Director of Governmental Affairs Patrick Kelly said this school year “was the highest number of vacant teaching positions/unfilled positions ever reported in state history.”

When referring to the latest data released in the fall, from the annual teacher supply and demand report, Kelly said the vacant positions increased 39% over what was reported last year. He says across the state, districts need to get a handle on the lack of teachers before it spirals out of control.

Dorchester School District Four currently sits at seven certified teacher vacancies and has 17 for next school year. Charleston County School District has 23 teacher vacancies out of 3,700 positions. Dorchester School District Two is working to fill the gap they are facing through recruiting efforts.

“Signing bonuses, retention bonuses and then just looking at salaries in general,” DD2 Director of Personnel Tracy Tayloe said.

The district currently has 32 certified teacher openings, 19 are high school teacher openings, 11 middle and two elementary.

The 32 vacancies breaks down to about 2% of their staff.

DD2 has had to adjust to ensure their students are taken care of.

“We have a fair amount of certified subs in our district and also subs that are not certified but are certainly a great asset,” Tayloe said. “We also have some certified teachers who have agreed to pick up, maybe during their planning, that have picked up some of those classes.”

DD2 is hosting a teacher recruitment fair on March 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The event will be at River Oaks Middle School, 8642 River Oaks Dr., in North Charleston.

It is an opportunity for candidates to ask questions, find jobs and learn more about Dorchester School District Two.