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Chapter 3
Personnel Management

This chapter reviews the personnel management functions of Venus Independent School District (VISD) in the following sections:

  1. Organization and Management
  2. Salaries and Compensation
  3. Recruitment and Retention
  4. Staff Development


C. RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION

As student enrollment increases and more teachers retire, Texas faces a critical teacher shortage. More than 1,040 Texas school districts compete in an ever-shrinking pool for teachers. In a study conducted by the State Board for Educator Certification published June 18, 2002, Estimates of Teacher Shortage in Texas Public Schools for the 2000-01 and 2001-02 Academic Years, it was estimated that the state had a shortage of approximately 40,000 teachers in 2000-01. In an effort to address the demand for teachers, many districts use incentives to hire and/or retain qualified teachers. Some strategies employed by Texas school districts include:

  • hiring bonuses/competitive salaries;
  • employee referral incentives;
  • relocation or moving fees;
  • housing assistance;
  • reduced-rate mortgages and low-interest loans;
  • tuition reimbursement and student loan assistance; and
  • using professional recruiters to assist the district in targeting qualified teacher candidates.

Recruitment is becoming increasingly competitive as the supply of teachers decreases. Although the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is making efforts “to increase the number of college students who pursue educator preparation programs,” a large number of teachers are leaving the profession. Exhibit 3-15 lists some of the reasons teachers have reported for leaving the profession:

Exhibit 3-15
Reasons Given by Teachers for Leaving Teaching Jobs
Reasons for Resignations
  • Retirement
  • To stay home with children
  • To move with families to a new area
  • To pursue other positions in education
  • To pursue another career for higher salary
  • Teacher burnout
Source: Texas Center for Educational Research, The Cost of Teacher
Turnover, November 2000.

FINDING

In spring 2002, VISD initiated a recruitment plan for the district to take a more proactive approach in filling teacher vacancies. The district has had difficulty recruiting and hiring bilingual and English as second language (ESL) teachers. The coordinator of Curriculum and Special Programs identified job fairs to attend and prepared recruiting folders with VISD brochures, DFW area maps showing the Venus location, applications, pay scale, VISD district maps and VISD giveaways that include the VISD logo on a ruler, pencil or key chain. The coordinator and school principals attended the job fairs listed in Exhibit 3-16 in 2001-02 and are planning to attend the job fairs listed for 2002-03. Prior to 2001-02, the district’s recruitment efforts were minimal. VISD did not have a recruitment plan or attend job fairs.

Exhibit 3-16
VISD Recruitment Job Fairs
2001-02 and 2002-03
Date Job Fair City
April 2, 2002 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
April 2, 2002 University of Texas Arlington Arlington, TX
April 4, 2002 Midwestern State Wichita Falls, TX
April 11, 2002 Texas Women’s University Denton, TX
April 15, 2002 McNeese State Lake Charles, LA
April 16, 2002 Northwestern State Natchitoches, LA
April 17, 2002 University of LA Monroe Monroe, LA
April 18, 2002 University of Texas Dallas, TX
May 23, 2002 ECAP Job Fair, Birdville Fine Arts Center Denton, TX
May 30,2002 Region 11 Fort Worth, TX
June 7, 2002 Region 12 West Texas,
March 28, 2003 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
April 1, 2003 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
April 1, 2003 University of Texas Arlington Arlington, TX
April 1, 2003 University of Texas Austin Austin, TX
April 3, 2003 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, TX
April 3, 2003 Tri-University Abilene, TX
April 8, 2003 Southwest Texas State University San Marcos, TX
April 9, 2003 University of Texas at Dallas Dallas, TX
April 14, 2003 University of North Texas Denton, Texas
May 12, 2003 North Central TX Association of School Personnel Arlington, TX
June 6, 2003 West Texas Area Teacher Job Fair Lubbock, TX
Source: VISD Coordinator of Curriculum and Special Programs.

Exhibit 3-17 provides the results of VISD recruitment efforts through job fairs in 2001-02.

Exhibit 3-17
VISD Recruitment Job Fair Results
2001-02
Job Fairs Number of Teachers Hired
ECAP 3
Region 11 2
University of Texas at Austin 1
Tarleton State University 4
Source: VISD 2002 Spring-Summer Recruitment Schedule.

In addition to job fair participation, VISD publicized teacher openings on its Web site and other Web sites. The staff is developing other initiatives for recruitment including the addition of materials regarding the VISD’s benefits package and the advantages of working in a small school district that is close to a metropolitan area like Dallas and Fort Worth in its promotion brochures. The district uses Title 2 funds for teacher recruitment efforts.

The coordinator for Curriculum and Special Programs has analyzed the district’s recruitment efforts by evaluating the number of resumes and applications received per job fair, the sources of applications, the quality of applicants received the prior year as a result of the recruitment efforts and number of teachers hired. The coordinator said that based on the lack of viable applicants at some job fairs in 2001-02, specifically Louisiana fairs, staff will attend job fairs where the district’s participation would be more productive. The staff adjusts the district’s recruitment efforts as necessary.

COMMENDATION

VISD has implemented a recruitment plan to address teacher job vacancies in the district.

FINDING

VISD does not have a centralized system or methodology for informing its employees of job vacancies. The superintendent oversees the personnel process but has not assigned the responsibility for job postings to any staff. Staff said during interviews that they were not made aware of positions as they became vacant and that they had received complaints from school employees who were also not informed of job vacancies. The staff cited the recent head football coach vacancy as one example. The job-posting example for that position did not have an advertising date listed.

The district does not have formal procedures to report or post job vacancies. Instead, word of mouth appears to be the way district job vacancies are communicated. The superintendent said the principals are responsible for informing their staff. The district’s Web site is not updated on a timely basis for job postings to be effective.

Districts often establish a practice of posting job vacancies at central locations at each school and at the central office for a minimum of two weeks to ensure all employees have an equal opportunity to apply for positions within the district. In addition, posting vacancies on the district’s Web site for a minimum of two weeks extends an opportunity for community applicants.

Recommendation 18:

Implement a policy and process to inform district employees of job vacancies.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES AND TIMELINE

1. The superintendent forms a committee to develop a procedure for posting job vacancies at the central office and each school, as well as timely posting on the district Web site. September 2003
2. The committee develops a standard operating procedure for the content and process of posting job vacancies. September 2003
3. The superintendent approves the standard operating procedure for posting job vacancies. October 2003
4. The superintendent distributes the standard operating procedure to central office and campus personnel for implementation and monitoring. November 2003 and Ongoing

FISCAL IMPACT

This recommendation can be implemented with existing resources.