MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With the opening of the next school year just days away, Shelby County Schools is working feverishly to get ready, but a couple of serious issues are standing in the way of smooth sailing in the first few days.
One is the continuing shortage of teachers for every classroom and the other is the fear that some Hispanic families will not enroll their children out of concern that doing so could lead to a knock on their door by federal immigration agents.
The teacher shortage came to light last week when Superintendent Dorsey Hopson told the school board that the district had more than 250 vacancies.
Since then, hiring has stepped up and Hopson expects that there will be less than 100 openings when classes resume on Monday.
In the meantime, the district plans to hire as many teachers as possible at the central office and then disburse them as needed to various schools.
That probably won`t sit well with some principals who like to pick their own teaching staff, but the district can`t afford to wait.
As for the issue over registering Hispanic students, the district is doing everything it can to assure families that their information won`t be shared with immigration agents.
Hopefully the fears will diminish and every eligible student return to classes on Monday with a quality teacher at the front of the room.