Killeen ISD is in need of a whole lot of teachers and now they’re offering new hiring incentives to get them.
The KISD school board approved new hiring incentives to fill open positions and that includes the 274 classrooms that need a teacher.
Incentives include $1,000 to new full-time teachers who come and work for KISD and $500 to part-time teachers.
This is on top of what the districts said is a competitive starting salary.
"Killeen ISD already has an incredible starting salary of $52,000. I think number one, we’re a pretty high starting salary. Add on top of that, teacher incentive allotment, which is something that is going to allow a teacher to make up to $77,000 depending on their level,” said Taina Maya, KISD Chief Communications & Marketing Officer.
The district said they need to hire so many teachers because the number of hires this year didn’t compare to years past.
"Well, every year we hire traditionally about 600 teachers. That’s normal for every summer. This summer we had about the same number of vacancies, but we didn’t see as many applicants coming to apply," said Maya.
Meanwhile, current teachers like Mr. Cook at Cedar Valley Elementary are surprised to see so many teachers still needed for this year.
"It’s disappointing because I know there is a lot of people out there who can do this. You know, they have the passion, they have the desire,” said James Cook, Teacher at Cedar Valley Elementary in Killeen.
That passion is why Mr. Cook chose to teach after retiring from the Army after over 20-years of service and why he couldn’t wait to see student reaction when he walked into the lunchroom dressed as Black Panther.
"It just erupted. Kids stood up, everybody is clapping and every student in there had to come over and get them a hug with Black Panther. It was wonderful and it teaches us why we do this,” said Cook.
He said he chose to work for KISD and wants others to know why.
"If you want to feel supported, you want to feel like there is a possibility for you to advance and move into different grounds within education, this is the place where you’re going to get that mentorship. This is the place where you’re going to get that support,” said Cook.
Though the Killeen ISD is offering new hiring incentives to find 274 full-time teachers, they are also in need of more substitutes and they’re asking anyone that is interested to apply.