HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Hattiesburg Public School District started the new school year almost fully staffed after dealing with a teacher shortage over the last few years.
In July, HPSD Superintendent Robert Williams said there were between 15 to 17 vacancies for certified teachers and positions in the school district. As of Monday, August 7, there were eight vacancies reported in the HPSD with only three of them teacher positions.
The school district said it has hired approximately 83 new employees this year, excluding custodial workers or maintenance staff.
The progress continues, with a large decrease in the number of vacancies from 2016-2017, when HPSD reported somewhere between 18 and 23 vacancies from K-12 throughout the school year.
HPSD will also have access moving forward to a new program to help train substitute teachers. Williams had said the district relied on substitute teachers in the past to fill full-time, vacant positions.
SUBTEACH USA was approved by the school board on August 1. SUBTEACH is a service that provides trained, quality substitute teachers to classrooms and will be operational in the HPSD on September 18, 2017.
HPSD said enrollment information is not currently available this early in the school year, which typically becomes stable around Labor Day. The projected enrollment in Hattiesburg's schools is about 4,300 students.