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Teacher shortages & school safety at Killeen ISD are both linked, says Killeen parent

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jul 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 21:00:00-04

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen ISD's school board met Tuesday to discuss a school safety plan in the event of an active shooter, but some parents are saying that's not even half the problem.

Khandiese Cooper is a parent who spoke up. Cooper is not only a mother but a photographer and works at her family's business in addition.

“I have an 8-year-old [who] attends Saegert Elementary, so when you talk about the level of care and learning quality that these kids will be receiving, he’s at that time where having a teacher that can focus on just learning [is important]," said Cooper.

Cooper told 25 News her hands are full and that she's working overtime for her son to fill the gaps that could be missed at school.

Tam Jones, a former Texas superintendent and a current professor at Texas A&M- Central Texas, shared his thoughts on the shortage.

"The teacher shortage is real, and it won't be going away; it won't be going away this year or next year,” said Jones.

It's a scary reality for school districts but even scarier for the futures that depend on quality education, Cooper shared.

“Teachers are in this space to teach our children; not to be security, not to manage the safety of our children,” said Cooper.

Cooper says the reality is that teachers now have to do both; focus on safety and teaching.

On Wednesday, Killeen ISD is hosting a job fair to recruit more teachers to fill key teaching roles. Their starting salary is $56,160; an amount not including the stipends below:

  • $2,000 dollars for relocation
  • $7,500 bilingual classroom teacher
  • $5,000 SPED classroom teacher
  • $2,080 critical subject teacher
  • $3,120 critical subject shortage stipend

The job fair is scheduled from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the Killeen ISD Career Center.