Paterson School District rushes to fill over 100 teacher vacancies ahead of school year

The Paterson School District is hustling to fill vacancies in its teaching staff, with over 100 job listings needed to be filled.
In a typical year, the district would have about 20 positions to fill - but this year there are 104 openings. Officials say that the COVID-19 pandemic is making it difficult to fill the slots.
Students return to the classroom on Sept. 8. A district spokesperson tells News 12 New Jersey that 77 of the teacher vacancies are current job openings. The others are related to teachers who are planning to retire.
Staffing issues have been an issue in Paterson for a while. Teachers say that the reasons for leaving vary from wanting higher wages, career advancement or quality of life issues.
Some of the current positions open are for world language teachers, music teachers, the child study team and special education teachers.
Some of the young students tell News 12 that they aren’t that worried about teacher vacancies. They are just looking forward to getting back to school after 18 months of remote learning.
“I did good, but I feel like it’s better to be in school,” says Madison Young.
“I miss my friends and teachers,” says Christiana Hawkins.
The district says that in addition to their regular recruiting strategies, they've held nine virtual job fairs this summer.
At a Wednesday board of education meeting it was revealed that the district has over 400 substitutes at the ready. But school officials say if it becomes an issue, some classes may need to be combined so all students have a certified teacher.