CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is working hard to get hundreds of teachers hired by the start of the new school year.
Nearly 140,000 CMS students go back to school in just two weeks.
Human resources is going through offers and paperwork to fill the openings. For example, at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, CMS is still looking for French, science, health and math teachers.
"I'm pretty sure it will fix itself. Things fall into place in time,” said Hunter Long, a former student at West Charlotte High School who now wants to be a CMS teacher.
Roughly 280 open instructional jobs were listed Wednesday on the CMS’ job board. Additionally, 105 open non-instructional jobs such as exceptional child assistants and kindergarten through third grade assistants are open.
The openings has CMS working overtime trying to fill them by the district's August 25 start date.
Traditionally, administrators fill in as teachers until new positions are hired or student assignments are re-done, matching them with teachers on hand.
Budget woes had CMS planning for a worst-case scenario involving letting hundreds of teachers go. But once budgets settled, layoffs weren't as bad as expected.
Long said he had a class with a new teacher hired just before school, and it wasn’t ideal.
“They didn't know what to do. They didn't know what curriculum to follow so they had to go ask the other teachers. It just didn't go too well."
But a few hundred open positions out of thousands of positions district wide leaves a small percentage to fill.
Long wants to be a CMS teacher and said his experience won't keep him from his goal.
"So I can give back what the schools gave to me,” he said. “I want to pass on the torch."
The Classroom Teachers Association says CMS is in this position because it let good teachers go.
The CTA says some of those high need position teachers left CMS because they didn't like how they were being treated.