Here’s a unique news item: At a time of widespread budget-cutting and job uncertainty in education, the St. Paul, Minn., school district actually added 110 teaching positions this summer. The new positions, according to the Pioneer Press, are part of a district reform effort that, among other things, aims to even out class sizes and give teachers more time to work together on planning and examining student data.
Funding for the new positions (in case you’re wondering, as I was) comes from a whopping $17 million increase in the district’s budget—paid for, according to the Pioneer Press story, by an increase in state dollars, a property tax rate bump, and reserve funds.
District leaders say that, thanks to the weak education job market elsewhere, they had a relatively easy time finding good teachers to fill the new positions. Even the science jobs, a major priority for the district, were filled “without a hitch.” Most of the newly hired teachers have previous teaching experience, according to the Pioneer Press.
It will be interesting to see how this staffing boost pans out. Who knows, maybe it will even catch on elsewhere.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.