Baton Rouge hoping to hire Calif. teachers

October 1, 2009 7:23:11 PM PDT
As a result of state budget cuts, California has 20,000 fewer teachers this year than last. But they do have opportunities -- in other states.

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Where California has a problem, the East Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Parish School District has a need -- 38 openings.

If we could get ten to fifteen for these specialized programs, the magnet, the gifted, the Montessori, this would be a good recruiting trip," Baton Rouge Principal Sherry Brock said.

It is a tale of two states and two economies. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, 9,000 students moved to Baton Rouge, adding to a shortage in an area that already did not have enough teachers.

The district has recruited in the Bay Area, Utah, Michigan and overseas.

"There is a critical shortage in areas of math and science, special education; they just aren't graduating," Associate Superintendent Elizabeth Duran-Swinford said.

The starting salary is $43,000 a year, at least, plus benefits. If the right teacher walked in they say they could put him or her to work on Monday.

It would be a move to a community where the median home price is $160,000. Unlike California, a single teacher could afford to buy one.

"And that would be a nice, three bedroom, two bathroom, with a nice yard," Duran-Swinford said.

It is all there, waiting for qualified teachers, but few ever walked through the door.

The recruiting fair will be in the Bay Area through Saturday
Embassy Suites Hotel
250 Gateway Boulevard, South San Francisco
Contact Daphne Donaldson for more information
225-922-5481, ddonaldson@ebrschools.org

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