PATERSON - The Paterson Board of Education is looking to fill 87 teaching vacancies at city schools, less than a month before the new school year is scheduled to begin.

The board tells News 12 New Jersey that it has offered jobs to 50 applicants and is vigorously searching for the right candidates for the rest of the spots.

A lack of teachers in Paterson has been a growing concern. In previous years there have been so many vacancies that substitute teachers have had to fill in the gaps for several months.

The hirings come at the same time the district faces financial constraints and layoffs.