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152 IPS teaching vacancies among 3,200 job openings at Indiana schools

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — On Monday, school starts for Indianapolis Public Schools students.

Amid the excitement is a large number of vacant teaching positions.

Sandy Bombick, the school system’s director of human resources operations, IPS has around 150 classroom teaching vacancies. Substitute teachers will fill the open positions until IPS can make more permanent hires.

“We’re going to keep working hard to get back to 100%,” Bombick said.

In the last school year, IPS was the state’s second-largest school district with 22,100 students. Fort Wayne Community Schools is the largest with 28,700 students, and Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. is the third-largest with 21,900.

Rebecca Estes is senior director of educator talent for the Indiana Department of Education. She says around 3,200 job openings exists statewide at schools, and more than half of the vacancies are teaching positions.

“We have high need across the state. Obviously, the school districts that have higher student populations are going to the need the largest amount of teachers to meet those student needs,” Estes said.

Principal Angel Jackson-Anderson of Believe Circle City High School says finding qualified teachers has become more challenging.

“Not a lot of people are running into education, unfortunately, or there’s a lot of people who have left the field and so it is very challenging at times to kind of fill the gaps,” Jackson-Anderson said.

Believe Circle City High School, with 214 students in the last school year, and other similar ones are benefiting from the online tool Nimble, which the Indiana Department Education started using in 2022 to make the hiring processes easier.

Jackson-Anderson said, “I’ve noticed that we’ve gotten quite a few hits for different positions because we’ve posted leadership roles. We’ve posted teaching roles. We’ve posted operation-based roles.”

Estes said, “I would just really encourage anybody that’s in that geographic location that has a passion for kids to get on that portal, create a candidate profile, and let us help you figure out how we can get you in serving in a classroom whether it be as a teacher or whether it be in a support role.”