Notes From MCPS Media Briefing: Recruitment and Staffing for 2022-2023 School Year

Below you will see notes from the August 8th, 2022 MCPS media briefing regarding recruitment and staffing for the 2022/2023 school year. The full video of the meeting is also available below.

Dr. Monifa McKnight (paraphrased):

  • Today it’s important for us to come together three weeks before the start of the school year to say “Where are we now?”
  • MCPS is a great school system and is a great place to work. *Thanks MCPS employees.*
  • MCPS was named, more than once, as a “great place to work” by Forbes, Niche, and others.
  • Starting salary for teachers averages at around $62,000
  • Professional development is provided so that staff is equipped to do their job to the best of their ability
  • We are steadily making progress towards staffing our schools. We are not there yet, but are continuing to make progress. We have never stopped hiring since last year.
  • As of this morning, we have 246 full-time teacher openings. 89 teacher candidates are in the approval process, likely to be hired. Essentially, we are seeking 157 more full-time teachers. 59 open part-time vacancies.
  • The vacancies are decreasing every day.
  • Vacancies on July 20 = 396, vacancies today = 157
  • This is a process that continues every single day, numbers will change.
  • Since the start of the hiring season, 833 teaching positions have been hired compared to 732 last year at this time.
  • 450 support professional openings, with 83 candidates in the approval process = 367 support professionals needed
  • 50 open bus driver positions. Last year at this time it was way over 100. 34 applicants currently in the queue (16 more needed).
  • These numbers are being shared to show how hard the team is at work at filling these vacancies.
  • MCPS is 98% staffed and inching closer to 100% by the day.
  • Substitutes have been heroes throughout pandemic.
  • QUESTION: Is Covid-19 vaccine requirement an issue when it comes to hiring? ANSWER: Hasn’t been the story in MCPS. MCPS was leading the county in terms of employees willing to get vaccinated.
  • QUESTION: Do you have information on how many subs you have available? Any new plan on how to deal with classroom coverage? ANSWER: Very thoughtful about making substitute pay competitive. Figuring out who the substitutes are that were coming to schools regularly. Training has been provided for substitutes. Puts us in a very different place than we have been before.
  • QUESTION: Are we looking at larger class sizes with higher enrollment and staffing issues? ANSWER: We’ll maintain our commitment to the class sizes agreed upon. Enrollment = 158,000 (1,000 more than last year, August is busy month for enrollment, with lots of change in August and September)
  • QUESTION: What is the average class size? ANSWER: Secondary does not exceed 32. Elementary numbers are different depending on the level and program.
  • QUESTION: What steps are being taken to retain employees? ANSWER: Something we’ve had our eye on since Covid-19. Hear from employees about what matters for them. Employee compensation. 3.32% raise coming this year. Taking care of employees and their wellness. Building community. Help employees be able to work and live in Montgomery County.
  • QUESTION: What does it look like when there aren’t enough teachers in classrooms? ANSWER: There’s someone there that is able and capable to start the year as the hiring process continues. Substitutes will be key.
  • QUESTION: Do you have number son how many people you need per grade? Elementary? Secondary? ANSWER: Special education is top area of need followed by elementary school teachers and school psychologists. Those are the top 3.
  • QUESTION: Why are there so many openings in the school system? Why don’t people want to go back? ANSWER: Covid-19 was a time in which people went back and reevaluated what they wanted to do, a difficult two years. Many people made the decision to make a change. Covid-19 changed lives.
  • QUESTION: Where does requiring masks stand for this coming school year? ANSWER: Thankful to have medical officer. MCPS sent out a notice to the community last week suggesting and recommending to wear masks indoors. If we get to a point where things change drastically, then we will collaborate with the DHHS and make the community aware.

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