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Charlotte Amalie
Monday, July 4, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesEDUCATION TRYING TO FILL TEACHING VACANCIES

EDUCATION TRYING TO FILL TEACHING VACANCIES

The Education Department is trying to backfill the hole left by more than 200 teachers and support staff who have either resigned or retired since last school year.
At a press conference Friday, Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds said most of the vacancies are at the high school level in math and science.
"We do not have every vacancy accounted for," Simmonds said. "We are very particular in who we recruit, so it is necessary to offer the kind of salaries to attract people to the Virgin Islands."
To make up the teacher shortfall, especially in required courses, Simmonds said, the department is asking teachers to take on extra classes. They will be paid for doing so out of money earmarked for substitute teachers, she said.
Over the summer, Simmonds said, 53 teachers and support staffers quit and 49 retired in the St. Croix district, for a total loss of 102 persons.
According to Alscess Louis-Brown, Education personnel director, 46 have been replaced.
In the St. Thomas-St. John district, 61 teachers retired and 49 resigned, a total of 110. Louis-Brown said 50 new teachers 12 new support staff members have been hired for the district.
Louis-Brown said a number of additional teacher candidates are going through the hiring process. "About half are from the States, and half are people from here and are looking for work," she said. "Some have taught before."
The exodus of teachers isn’t abnormally high this year, according to Louis-Brown. Three years ago, 198 teachers resigned or retired, she said, and two years ago, 138 were lost.
In the Special Education area, there are five teaching vacancies on St. Thomas, and the last vacancy on St. Croix was filled this week, Louis-Brown said. She said Special Ed still needs to fill specialist positions such as speech pathologists.
Simmonds said Education has the largest budget in the executive branch because it is the largest department. She said the perception that the department is top heavy is incorrect.
"The non-school personnel in the department is less than 20 percent," she said. "In the Department of Education, very little money is left over for operations. The bulk of the money is for personnel, but it is essential personnel."

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The Education Department is trying to backfill the hole left by more than 200 teachers and support staff who have either resigned or retired since last school year.
At a press conference Friday, Education Commissioner Ruby Simmonds said most of the vacancies are at the high school level in math and science.
"We do not have every vacancy accounted for," Simmonds said. "We are very particular in who we recruit, so it is necessary to offer the kind of salaries to attract people to the Virgin Islands."
To make up the teacher shortfall, especially in required courses, Simmonds said, the department is asking teachers to take on extra classes. They will be paid for doing so out of money earmarked for substitute teachers, she said.
Over the summer, Simmonds said, 53 teachers and support staffers quit and 49 retired in the St. Croix district, for a total loss of 102 persons.
According to Alscess Louis-Brown, Education personnel director, 46 have been replaced.
In the St. Thomas-St. John district, 61 teachers retired and 49 resigned, a total of 110. Louis-Brown said 50 new teachers 12 new support staff members have been hired for the district.
Louis-Brown said a number of additional teacher candidates are going through the hiring process. "About half are from the States, and half are people from here and are looking for work," she said. "Some have taught before."
The exodus of teachers isn’t abnormally high this year, according to Louis-Brown. Three years ago, 198 teachers resigned or retired, she said, and two years ago, 138 were lost.
In the Special Education area, there are five teaching vacancies on St. Thomas, and the last vacancy on St. Croix was filled this week, Louis-Brown said. She said Special Ed still needs to fill specialist positions such as speech pathologists.
Simmonds said Education has the largest budget in the executive branch because it is the largest department. She said the perception that the department is top heavy is incorrect.
"The non-school personnel in the department is less than 20 percent," she said. "In the Department of Education, very little money is left over for operations. The bulk of the money is for personnel, but it is essential personnel."