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Baltimore City Schools fill 700 teacher vacancies this summer

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Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 27, 2023

BALTIMORE — Teachers and students only have a few weeks left of summer vacation.

Despite it being the summer, work hasn't stopped for Baltimore City Public Schools staff tasked with filling vacant teacher positions.

"We're looking really good in terms of we've hired over 700 new teachers which is higher than any number we've had on record to start the year and we're still in July," said Alison Perkins-Cohen, Chief of Staff at Baltimore City Public Schools.

The school system couldn't give us exact numbers for how many vacant positions remain a month out.

Part of this increase is because state funding is allowing them to fill certain positions that have gone vacant.

"The fact that we're ahead of where we've ever been before the start of school in July is a minor miracle given this staffing shortage. It is a national teaching shortage and in Maryland, most teachers come from your local universities and those coming out of teaching colleges from 2010 to 2018 have decreased by 41%, so it's a really hard environment out there," said Perkins-Cohen.

The Baltimore City Teachers Union says several issues lead to teachers leaving or not choosing to teach in Baltimore, from pay to workload and issues getting their certification.

"One thing we've seen in response to teaching vacancies in the past are increasing class sizes. We also see a lot of our educators either in schools or at the central office being asked to cover classes," said Christina Duncan Evans, Teacher Chapter Chair of the Baltimore Teachers Union.

The district starts school on August 28.

It's still looking to fill vacancies and says we should get an exact number of how many open positions there are sometime soon.