Connect with us

Local News

Lawmakers exploring ways to recruit more teachers in Indiana



Indianapolis, Indiana – As schools are trying to fill open jobs this summer Indiana’s, teacher shortage remains front and center. According to Indiana lawmakers, they’re looking at ways to try to recruit more teachers across the state.

As of Monday, the state’s online education job board shows more than 2,300 open teaching positions. That’s among the nearly 4,000 jobs open across all Indiana schools.

The issue is impacting many schools across the Hoosier State this summer. “For those specific content areas, it has been a little bit more difficult this year to find applicants,” said Michelle Bright, human resources director for Franklin Community Schools.

According to Bright, math, science, and special education positions have been some of the hardest jobs to fill.

It’s an issue the Indiana Department of Education has been discussing with superintendents this month. “The conversations are anywhere from growing your own programming to increasing funding resources for future teachers and opportunities, creating statewide registered apprenticeships,” said Rebecca Estes, senior director of educator talent for the Indiana Department of Education.

According to Estes, the state hasn’t had a reliable way to track teacher openings statewide until a new job board launched this year. This summer, there appear to be more openings in special education than normal, she added.

Lawmakers are looking for solutions, and some recruitment programs are already in place. “Providing more of a collaborative environment, more support, so teachers don’t feel like they’re isolated,” said State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), who chairs the House education committee.

Lawmakers are looking at several potential options, such as expanding incentives for new teachers, especially people of color, Behning said. Ways to improve teacher compensation are also on the table, he added. “I’m sure that we’ll put additional resources into K-12,” Behning said. “We put almost $2 billion in the last budget cycle. So I believe that we’ll have significant resources available.”

Early next year, any changes to school funding would be discussed when lawmakers work on the new state budget.