January 16, 2019 / Modified jan 16, 2019 11:14 a.m.

TUSD Still Faces Teacher Shortages Despite Pay Raises, Sign-On Bonuses

The district will hold back-to-back job fairs in an effort to get ahead of hiring challenges.

Trujillo TUSD 071718 hero Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo speaking at district headquarters, July 17, 2018.
Brandon Mejia, AZPM

The Tucson Unified School District is getting a head start on teacher hiring this year in hopes of reducing vacancies.

Despite sign-on bonus incentives and and rising salaries, TUSD has been plagued with teacher vacancies over the last few years. The district has made some headway, reducing vacancies from 80 teachers in August to 57 today.

Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo says that the district wants to move early in the hiring cycle to make offers to hard-to-get teachers, like those who teach special education, English as a second language and those who are STEM certified.

"You don't see a lot in those areas out there as you get deeper into March. This is why we want to strike very early with the job fair. The very first weekend in February. Then we want to strike again the very first weekend in March," Trujillo said.

Trujillo says the district will have a clearer picture of 2019-20 school year vacancies once retirement numbers are in in February.

Trujillo on Tuesday said peopled furloughed as a result of the partial government shutdown are welcome to substitute teach in the district, provided they have the right qualifications.

He said substitute teachers in TUSD must pass a background check and have a fingerprint clearance card, a bachelor's degree and a substitute certificate. Subs in the district also need three professional references and a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Currently, substitute teachers in TUSD receive $100 per day.

Education Funding in Arizona
Stories on the statewide debate over teacher pay and education funding. Read more coverage here.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona