Detroit Schools facing critical teacher shortage as fewer candidates graduate

Posted at 5:32 AM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 07:59:12-04

Despite hiring dozens of teachers in the past year, Detroit Public Schools still face a critical teacher shortage.

On Tuesday night, the district will attempt to address some of its teacher shortage problems with the first of several recruitment fairs.

James Baker, a deputy Superintendent, told 7 Action News that they’ve made big strides in the past year hiring teachers. It was only a year ago that the Detroit Public Schools Community Districts needed roughly 200 teachers.

“We’re getting there,” said Baker, “but we’re still averaging about 100 classrooms that are truly vacant, meaning we have to get inventive with what we’re doing in classrooms.”

Baker said some of those inventive things include principals covering classrooms, and teachers working in dual classrooms.

The goal is to bring in more teachers to fill the void, but they want to bring in certified teachers to make sure that students are being given the education they deserve. It may be easier said than done, because local colleges are reporting that teaching candidates are down compared to past years. Baker said that numbers coming in from Wayne State and Michigan State indicate that the teaching pool may be 38-percent smaller.

“So you no only have Detroit, but the rest of the tai-county and really the nation, all going for those same teacher candidates.”

Last year DPSC attended, or held, more than 25 recruitment fairs throughout Michigan and Ohio.

Those who attend the Tuesday, May 23 job recruitment fair will have a chance to meet with principals to discuss specific vacancies throughout the district. The event will be held between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Detroit’s Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, however, open positions exist across the spectrum K-12. Open positions include, but are not limited to: math, science, foreign languages and special courses.

Those who wish to attend can jumpstart their chances of getting hired by applying online ahead of the recruitment fair. Those interested in attending should visit the career center at and complete an online application using job ID: 291590.