CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools need more teachers. The school year started with a shortage, and some of those positions are still open.
Now the district is trying to fill another round of vacancies in specialized and critical needs areas.
“I always check the CMS site, basically on a monthly basis,” says Charlotte resident Chanti Jones. “I’ve been wanting to get into public schools here since I moved here in 2012.”
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools started the year short of teachers, and that trend continues. There are 126 open positions right now. CMS says it has people to fill 29 of those.
The shortage is blamed on several factors: higher than expected enrollment, teachers leaving CMS for higher-paying districts and retirements.
“We’ll also have other vacancies due to natural attrition throughout the year that any school in any school district would experience,” says CMS Sourcing and Onboarding Executive Director Rekeda Leaks. “So this is about normal.”
“Competition for top teaching talent is fierce, and that has led CMS to bring back their fall career fair to fill those vacancies.”
“We really wanted to support our schools and our students by making sure that we have a teacher in every classroom,” says Leaks.
Moses Cerritos moved his family from Florida to Charlotte to be closer to relatives.
“I’m working right now actually part time, and I’m looking,” says Cerritos. “I came to the job fair for a full time position.”
He says lower teacher salaries in North Carolina are an issue, but it’s part of a balance with cost of living and quality of life.
“That’s where it gets a little challenging,” says Cerritos. “But if it’s, you know, for your career, you’re looking to move in a certain area.”
“I’m taking a $10,000 dollar pay cut, but the cost of living is much lower here,” says Chanae Krahn, who is leaving a teaching job in Maryland to move to Charlotte. “And I would also be still teaching Common Core, which I’m teaching now in Maryland, so that’s an advantage.”
The Career Fair lets candidates meet with schools that have openings, and they are interviewed on the spot.
“The first table I went to I got a job offer for second grade,” says Jones. “I’m really excited.”
Elementary, middle and high schools were represented at Thursday evening’s Career Fair targeting candidates for the more than 90 positions that are still open.