Prospective teachers may have difficulty finding jobs next year

Fort Worth Star-TelegramOctober 8, 2008 

New teachers may have a tough time finding jobs next year because more people are expected to compete for fewer positions, school officials said.

The slow economy, along with a new state funding model, is causing a cash crunch for school districts, and some are slashing positions. Also, fewer teachers want to leave the profession. In Fort Worth, for example, not as many people retired or stayed home for maternity leave this year because they can’t afford to, said Dave Robinson, president of the Fort Worth Education Association, which represents teachers.

Meanwhile, workers are leaving or being pushed out of private companies and entering what they see as the safer waters of education and public employment. The Region XI Education Service Center has seen about a 30 percent increase in applicants to its alternative certification program, which allows professionals with college degrees to become teachers. The center serves 77 districts and 11 counties, including Tarrant.

For the first time, the center’s fall enrollment was larger than the summer class. More than 150 aspiring educators are in the program.

"Historically, that is a very large number," program coordinator Wendy Suires said.

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