Districts still looking for teachers just weeks before school starts

Aug 6, 2019, 10:32 PM | Updated: Aug 7, 2019, 5:26 am
(Photo: Truth in Taxation meeting August 6, 2019.  Credit: Canyons School District)...
(Photo: Truth in Taxation meeting August 6, 2019. Credit: Canyons School District)
(Photo: Truth in Taxation meeting August 6, 2019. Credit: Canyons School District)

SALT LAKE COUNTY – The clock is ticking for school districts across the state.  The school year is going to start soon, and several districts are still looking for people to fill open teaching slots.

It’s very common for districts to have unfilled teaching spots in the weeks just before classes begin.  For instance, the Jordan School District still has 16 open K-12 teaching spots, along with 13 unfilled special education teaching positions.  Spokesperson Sandy Riesgraf says that’s actually better than they normally see this time of year.

The Granite School District is also looking for teachers, but Spokesman Ben Horsley is convinced they’ll have those classrooms filled within the next 13 days.

“This is actually not as big of a problem as it has been in the past.  I know some other districts in previous years have had as many as 50 openings on the first day of school.  While we’ve been able to not have that kind of problem, you can imagine 50 classrooms without a contract teacher,” Horsley says.

He says they still have several qualified applicants they can speak to, and they have ways to fill any gaps that may arise.

Horsley says, “We do utilize long-term substitutes in certain positions, as we’re able to.  We’re always going to make sure that our students in classrooms have adequate support.”

Some teachers along the Wasatch Front didn’t even know what their salary would be earlier in the week.  The Salt Lake School District is expected to release the results of the deal they negotiated with the Salt Lake Education Association by Wednesday.  Officials with that district aren’t specifying how many teachers they might need, but, we know a small number of instructors have transferred to the Canyons School District.

Canyons Spokesman Jeff Haney says they’ve been attracting teachers from all over the country due to a huge spike in teacher pay.

“The Canyons School District announced a plan to give all teachers a $7,655 a year salary increase, representing a double digit [percentage] increase for every teacher.  This puts the starting teacher pay at the Canyons School District at $50,000, ” Haney says.

Before this pay spike was announced, Canyons was losing a huge amount of teachers every year.

Haney says, “When our board of education announced the intention to give a historic and sizable salary bump to every teacher, it was in response to the need to fill an annual average of 280 open teaching spots, per year.”

The increase got a lot of pushback from people attending a district board of education meeting last night.  Some opponents say it higher taxes would hurt people on a fixed income.  The Canyons board approved it unanimously.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


quit their jobs...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US added a strong 517,000 jobs in January despite Fed hikes

The Fed is aiming to achieve a "soft landing" — a pullback in the economy that is enough to tame high inflation without triggering recession.
2 days ago
Thousands of fraudulent nursing diplomas  were dispersed in Florida. (Canva)...
Associated Press via Miami Herald

Fake nursing diploma scheme in Florida; 25 arrested

The defendants each face up to 20 years in prison.
3 days ago
Microsoft is cutting 10,000 workers, almost 5% of its workforce, in response to "macroeconomic cond...
MATT O'BRIEN, Associated Press

Job cuts in tech sector spread, Microsoft lays off 10,000

Microsoft said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which begin immediately.
18 days ago
exxon mobil sign pictured...

Study: Exxon Mobil accurately predicted warming since 1970s

Exxon said its understanding of climate change evolved over the years and that critics are misunderstanding its earlier research.
24 days ago
FILE - Protesters, supporters of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro, stand on the roof of the...
The Associated Press

Brazil and Jan. 6 in US: Parallel attacks, but not identical

RIO DE JANIERO, Brazil — Enraged protesters broke into government buildings that are the very symbol of their country’s democracy. Driven by conspiracy theories about their candidate’s loss in the last election, they smashed windows, sifted through the desks of lawmakers and trashed the highest offices in the land in a rampage that lasted hours […]
26 days ago
President Joe Biden pictured...
ZEKE MILLER AP White House Correspondent

DOJ reviewing potentially classified docs at Biden center

Special counsel to the president Richard Sauber said “a small number of documents with classified markings” were discovered at the offices of the Penn Biden Center.
27 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Districts still looking for teachers just weeks before school starts