Central Indiana school districts report fewer applicants, hope to hire dozens of positions

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – Right now, many of our local districts are looking to hire dozens of positions. School corporations say they need educators, custodians, food service workers, mechanics and more.

Inside Ray Crowe Elementary, learning is in full force. However, the staff that’s keeping kids on track, at times, has to work overtime as fewer people are there to help them do their job.

“Our teachers are vital to what we do, but as vital are classified staff members, our food service team, our custodial teams, our instructional assistants, those folks are really what makes schools happen,” said Superintendent Patrick Spray of the Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation.

There are more than 60 open positions right now in Clark-Pleasant schools.

“We are just having fewer applicants,” Spray added.

To help, Superintendent Spray is having to advertise after-school jobs to high schoolers. For $15 an hour and 20 hours a week, teens can help fill custodial positions and other jobs. Clark-Pleasant is also increasing the minimum wage in hopes that will encourage people to apply.

“I think all of us are trying to find out something new and different in regards of engaging staff and I know it’s kind of hard right now for students to find part time jobs that fit their schedules, so I think this might be a win-win for everybody,” said Spray.

Clark-Pleasant isn’t alone in the staff shortage battle. Districts across Central Indiana are searching for applicants.

Center Grove Community School Corporation has 50 openings right now. Same goes for Noblesville, half of their 50 openings are for instructional assistants.

Avon Community Schools is looking to hire substitutes, custodians and food service personnel.

It’s been challenging for MSD Warren Township to fill special education and math and science positions.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools is looking to fill 40 vacancies. In a statement school representatives said, “Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ top priority is hiring highly qualified educators and educational support personnel who can provide the very best learning environment for HSE students. Right now, we are primarily looking to hire instructional assistants, bus drivers, food service workers, substitutes, and office staff. We even have openings in our before and after care program with our YMCA partnership.”

For Muncie Community Schools, more than a dozen positions are open for support staff. A school representative told us that the district is actually in better shape with full-time teachers than previous years.

“I think our economy right now in Central Indiana there’s a lot more jobs available and so even before the pandemic it was starting to get tight, but even through the pandemic the economic growth in our area has grown with e-commerce and distribution facilities,” added Spray.

For Spray, working in a school is more than just a job.

“I think just being around kids, always puts a smile on your face,” he added.

To learn more about job openings at Clark-Pleasant schools, click here.

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