Henrico Schools teacher shortage intensifies

The school division is looking to fill hundreds of job vacancies before the school year.
Henrico Schools are looking to fill hundreds of job vacancies before the school year starts in early September.
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 7:04 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 1:10 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Time is ticking as Henrico Schools race to fill hundreds of job vacancies for the fall.

The school division is looking to hire around 200 teachers.

“That’s a little bit larger than it’s been in years past,” Henrico Schools Talent Acquisition Ambassador Kenya Jackson said.

Jackson attributes many factors to the dire shortage.

“There are a lot of different things. I think COVID has definitely exacerbated teacher vacancies with the expansion of opportunities from the virtual setting, re-location, health and mental health, and just some of the societal changes. It’s just been a lot,” Jackson said.

Jackson says it’s not just teachers. They need bus drivers too. Jackson says they’re looking to hire around 50 drivers.

She says the school division will help drivers with training, and candidates are not required to have their commercial driver’s license when they apply.

Jackson says the shortage of bus drivers has caused an impact on school transportation.

“Sometimes, there may have to be double routes. We have a lot of our parents transport their students, so we have to assess that,” Jackson said.

Thursday afternoon, Henrico Schools hosted a job fair at the Varina Library. Dozens turned out to learn about openings, qualifications, and pay.

The average starting salary for Henrico teachers is around $50,000. Bus drivers could start at just over $35,000 and receive up to a $3,000 sign-on bonus.

Despite the struggle to hire, Jackson remains hopeful the spots will be filled by the start of the school year, set for Aug. 29.

“We will have a plan in place to make sure students get what they need,” Jackson said.

Click here for more information on Henrico School’s job openings.

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