Tuscaloosa City Schools needs teachers and school bus drivers for fall

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 8:48 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The school year just ended, but Tuscaloosa City Schools leaders are already recruiting to fill schools for your kids next year.

School officials say they have more than 100 job openings, which is about average this time of year.

Tuscaloosa City Schools leaders say this is not unusual. There is a variety of reasons why school teachers and bus drivers leave - retirement, better opportunities in larger cities, and some just want to do something else.

It’s a reflection of what’s happening across the country and not just with the Tuscaloosa City School district. Job openings for school bus drivers and classroom teachers are up for grabs this time of year every year, according to Dr. Deron Cameron.

“People move for different reasons. Some move to go back to their hometown, some move out of state like Nashville,” said Tuscaloosa City School District HR Director Dr. Deron Cameron.

The greatest need is special education teachers, according to Dr. Cameron. In fact, the school is offering a $5,000 bonus for those teachers and a $2,000 sign on bonus for new drivers.

“To lure some of those in the driving force, drive in the morning two hours, afternoon two hours. That is a great need for us in the special education field for us,” said Dr. Cameron.

Dr. Cameron anticipates the 116 number to drop dramatically by next week when school officials begin signing up the next round of new teachers and drivers.

“Right now, we’re not sure but it will probably drop below a hundred,” he said.

“Our salaries are three percent higher than the state salary metrics. We offer a wide array of professional development opportunities,” according to Dr. Cameron.

Dr. Cameron says the 116 openings is about average every year for the school district, far more than say 30 years ago. But why?

“I think it’s the environment. You know we’re looking at a generation of teachers we have coming up and they are tremendous but want a purpose for what their doing and we give them that purpose,” he said.

School’s out, summer’s here - only a couple of months or so before the new school year begins, still time left to whittle down the job opening number even more.

At the moment, the city school district has 17 openings for school bus drivers, according to Dr. Cameron. The district is paying for the training.

Conversely, the Tuscaloosa County school district says it’s looking to fill 15 school bus driver positions and around 50 certified jobs such as teachers, counselors and administrators.

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