WUOMFM

With Detroit Public Schools on the brink, district looks to recruit teachers

May 23, 2016

Amidst tremendous uncertainty about its future existence, the Detroit Public Schools is trying to recruit teachers.

The district is holding a “DPS Day” recruitment fair for new teachers at Martin Luther King High School on Tuesday.

Officials admit that’s a challenging task when the district’s future is so insecure.

It’s waiting on state lawmakers to pass a huge aid package before it runs out of money altogether this summer.

DPS interim superintendent Alycia Meriweather says the sooner Lansing can get that resolved, the better.

“Those challenges make it difficult for teacher recruiting. They make it difficult for planning,” Meriweather said. “All of those things become much more complicated, so the sooner we can get this resolved, the better.”

The district is already struggling with a chronic teacher shortage, with at least 200 positions either going unfilled or filled by long-term subs.

And so I think what we need to do is, make sure we have a stable offer, and that people can take confidence that Detroit Public Schools is not only going to be here, but it’s going to be better than we are right now.”

Despite the uncertainty, Meriweather says DPS is moving ahead with plans to expand programming, including new foreign language and STEM education offerings.

DPS officials say they’re looking to fill up to 350 openings in all areas. However, there is a critical shortage in early childhood education, special education, math, secondary science and world languages.

The district is already struggling with a chronic teacher shortage, with at least 200 positions either going unfilled or filled by long-term subs.