Report shows decrease in New Mexico teacher vacancies

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Brian Luck is the superintendent at Roswell Independent School District, and he said the district has fewer teacher openings than last year. 

“You know, if anyone’s interested, we’re still hiring and I think we’re pretty competitive with our pay. I would say it’s gone down, I would say anywhere from, you know, 10 to 15 teaching vacancies, which is pretty big,” Luck said.

A new teacher vacancy report from New Mexico State University shows that Albuquerque Public Schools has 159 openings, Santa Fe has 123 openings, Alamogordo has 39 openings, Roswell has 35 openings, and Hobbs rounds out the top five with 34 teacher openings.

Rachel Boren is the director of the SOAR Evaluation and Policy Center at NMSU. She said in the three years she’s been running the report, the numbers are always fluctuating.

“We saw last year that there were over 1,000 teacher openings this year, it dropped to 690. So a decrease is always encouraging to report, we like sharing that news,” Boren said.

Luck said the reason for this decrease in openings is mostly due to the new state teacher pay increase, and it’s been a huge factor in filling those open positions.

“What I have run into, though, are several teachers that have said, ‘I was about to go, I was about to put in my retirement papers, and I’d like to stick it out a couple more years because of what the pay scale has done,'” he said.

Also adding some teachers have come back from retirement too.

Luck said his district still has most openings in special education, which according to the report, is a need across the state.

“I think we’ve seen continued needs in elementary education and special education, in particular, pre-pandemic, during the pandemic, and now, and so and then math, science and English language arts are still the top areas of need in terms of subjects,” said Boren. 

The full report can be read here.