Secrets of the Job Hunt


Monday, April 05, 2010

Houston Teaching Jobs Attracting Out-of-State Candidates

Some Houston teaching jobs may soon be filled by workers from another state.

Officials from the Houston Independent School District recently traveled to California to host recruitment sessions for available teaching jobs. They hoped the effort would attract some of the 5,000 teachers in California who were recently laid off.

According to the California Department of Education, about 20,000 teachers could be laid off during the near future. Because of that, HISD officials are targeting California as part of the district's revamped recruitment program, which is aimed at more focused efforts

"We also thought it would be worthwhile to open up recruitment to teachers who may receive a pink slip," Carmen Rowan, HISD recruitment team leader, told the Houston Business Journal.

Many of the new hires will be made in "critical shortage areas" such as bilingual education, secondary math and secondary science. Rowan said HISD is having trouble finding true bilingual teachers, meaning those who speak both languages fluently and can effectively teach, as well as math teachers who can help students connect current and previous classes.

Teachers who are hired in these areas could receive a $6,000 hiring bonus and special education teachers could receive a $5,000 hiring bonus. In addition, the district approved a $1,500 relocation incentive for those hired outside the state.

In order to receive these incentives, a teacher must be certified by the State Board for Educator Certification and have full-time classroom and school-based instructional experience in critical shortage areas.

Aside from the hiring efforts in California, HISD officials plan to travel to Louisiana, Michigan and Florida during the coming months to search for qualified teachers.

In addition, former HISD employees who have not been on a teacher contract with the district since May 2001 also are eligible for the recruitment incentives. Current HISD teachers who refer top employees for critical shortage positions could receive $1,000.

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