WACO, TX- The Waco ISD Board of Trustees approves sign-on bonuses for positions with high vacancies for the 2023-2024 school year. The hard-to-fill positions included in this initiative include fully certified teachers, counselors, librarians/library media specialists, registered nurses, and police officers.
The staff scarcity, felt across the state, is due to a higher-than-state average turnover rate for teachers coupled with state and national shortages. There is also a great deal of competition from other public and private entities for registered nurses and police officers. An increase in the cost of living nationally has added to the difficulty in recruiting from outside to the local area to fill many vacant positions.
One of the most pressing issues that school districts are facing is the lack of fully certified teachers. This has resulted in classrooms being covered by substitutes (sometimes without a degree), larger class sizes, new teachers hired on emergency permits, and/or other creative ways to combat the shortage. Waco ISD started this school year with approximately 85 non-experienced classroom teachers with emergency certification and the goal is to fill the positions with fully qualified teachers moving forward.
“This incentive affords us the ability to attract fully certified teachers who are experienced, diverse, and want to call the Waco ISD community their educational home,” said Dr. Daniel Lopez, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at Waco ISD. “We believe our Waco ISD teachers have unique opportunities to make a difference in the lives of our students and can be directly influential in a student’s life with positive instructional, social, and emotional support.”
The sign-on bonuses approved by the Board of Trustees are as follows:
1. A $5,000 sign-on bonus for fully certified (or eligible for certification pending graduation) classroom teachers, counselors, and librarians/library media specialists hired on or before June 1, 2023. The sign-on bonus will require a commitment to work for Waco ISD for two years.
2. A sign-on bonus of $5,000 for police officers hired by August 1, 2023. The sign-on bonus will require a commitment to work for Waco ISD for two years.
3. A sign-on bonus of $2,500 for registered nurses hired by August 1, 2023. The sign-on bonus
will require a commitment to work for Waco ISD for one year.