“We have a major shortage for teachers,” Stutting said.
In addition, Stutting said diverse candidates have always been difficult to find.
Strusz said his district is trying to offset the smaller pool of candidates through its student teacher recruitment.
The small pool is the biggest challenge — school districts are all competing to recruit from it — and North Scott is glad to have candidates, Stutting said. The primary criteria has to be the quality of the candidate.
Stutting said North Scott does not have a dedicated effort for recruiting more diverse candidates, but does accept all applications.
There is, Paone said, also a lag time between the more dynamic and diverse general population, and the older, whiter and more stable teaching population. Some of those teachers were trained in the 1970s and many have been teaching for decades.
Paone said he does see diversity increasing as those more diverse younger generations catch up and become teachers.
Paone also acknowledged competition from areas that are perceived as offering more financially and culturally, which can draw talent, including diverse candidates, away from the area.
“In many regards, these issues aren’t black and white, but green,” Paone said.