Jackson Public Schools short nearly 200 teachers - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson Public Schools short nearly 200 teachers

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Coming up on the new school year, the Jackson Public School district is short about 200 teachers. The PTA says with t3,000 employees, a 200 teacher shortage is actually a manageable number.

"While there is a teacher shortage, you have a comradery among teachers and love for the students, to where there's a shift in the Department, to where they are trying to do something," said PTA member Michelle Henry. "Not every attempt works out 100% the way we wanted, but at least it's an attempt to do something for our children." 

JPS is doing its best to recruit teachers. They're offering a 25-hundred dollar signing bonus to anyone teaching core subjects (math, science, and history) and further incentives for retirees to come back to the workforce.

Retired teachers who come work for JPS would be paid $225 a day, or per diem if you teach math. That's despite major budget cuts.

"Across the state, we received a cut, because the funding from the state is less than it has been in the past. So we had about a 5.7 million dollar cut, which is a lot," said Interim JPS Superintendent Dr. Fredrick Murray.

In the meantime, JPS is shifting around the teachers they do have, focusing their efforts on those core subjects where students have state testing each year.

"Data motivates some of the funding we receive, data motivates the ratings we receive, and so long-term, you know that you want to have someone in one of those testing areas, as opposed to an elective," added Henry.

The recruiting initiative has done pretty well so far. At the start of the summer, JPS was down 300 teachers, and now that number is a little below 200.

School starts up in Jackson next Tuesday, August 8.

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