TOPEKA, Kan (KSNT) – Topeka Public Schools is seeing a teacher shortage less than a week before the beginning of the school year.
The district has 26 open teaching positions, but district leaders said this is normal. When the school year ended in May, USD 501 had over 150 openings.
The district told KSNT News they plan for this amount of turnover. Some positions require a year-round search.
“Traditionally we have what we call high needs vacancies. Areas like science, math, dual language positions, teachers who are ELL certified,” said Beryl New, human resources and equity director at Topeka Public Schools.
New said the district has been holding weekly “Walk-In Wednesday” interviews to try and fill the positions. She said they’ve decided to increase those interview days to three times a week until all the positions are filled.
Still, she said there’s no reason to be concerned.
“We do have contingency plans, but I think we would rather be aggressive at this point and find good candidates for our students than just kind of settle,” said New.
School for TPS students begins on August 14.