ROSWELL, NM (KRQE) — The Roswell Independent School District is addressing its teacher shortage by offering salaries higher than those required by the state.
Last year, the school district ended up with 100 teachers. This year, that number is less than twenty. Superintendent Brian Luck said their research showed teachers moved to Texas because they received better salaries.
That’s when the district decided to pay its teachers more than the state minimum, starting them between $60,000 and $77,000 depending on their qualifications and experience. The state minimum ranges from $50,000 to $70,000.
“We’re pretty excited, we’re starting to see some people come out of retirement again. Some had said they might never come back. We had several who looked at it a little harder,” Luck said.
The district uses money from its regular budget to pay for increases. Luck, who has been a teacher for more than a decade, knows the effect that understaffing can have on a school. “It’s tough, it’s tough. You’re asked to do extra work. A lot of times you have teachers who have to do extra lessons. You have to make sure you have a quality teacher in front of the kids,” Luck said.
The superintendent hopes to bring in another wave of teachers after the winter break.