CMS' strategy to keep teachers - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS' strategy to keep teachers

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte - Mecklenburg school district (CMS) is fighting back when it comes to other school districts trying to steal their teachers. Houston Independent School District will hold a job fair in Charlotte on Friday.

Houston is offering first time teachers nearly $50,000 a year in salary. A first year teacher in CMS makes about $36,000.

CMS has come up with a strategy to keep teachers in place. CMS recruiters will stress opportunity and not salary. It will tell potential candidates CMS is the 18th largest school district in the state.

"Size means great diversity," CMS Recruiter Rakeda Leaks said. "Great options, different types of schools, programs, diverse student body. Those things are critical - those are things that teachers care about."

Another selling point will be CMS takes care of its own.

"Charlotte is a place where teachers can grow," Leaks said. "We grow our own. We have opportunity where teachers can become Dean of students, Assistant Principals, and Principals."

CMS is hosting its own job fair on July 31st at Phillip O. Berry Academy to share the incentives to potential candidates.  The assignment is to recruit and retain teachers. 

Some teachers say that won't be enough. So far 20 North Carolina teachers have signed up to teach for Houston Independent School District. CMS reports 20 teachers have resigned and more are expected to follow.

CMS school board chairperson, Mary McCray, told WBTV she doesn't blame teachers for checking out Houston's job fair.

"I don't fault anyone who wants to better themselves for their families," McCray said. "To go to a district that's going to treat them like the professionals they are."

McCray believes CMS can still recruit quality teachers to the district but understands pay plays a big part in their decision.

"When people start looking at the cost of living here," McCray said. "And what their paycheck is going to show - you have to question can I afford that move to Charlotte, even though they have openings."

CMS is optimistic it can fill its more than 300 teacher vacancies it has by the first day of school. It will rely heavily on social media to get the word out about its openings.

The district says it is flattered Houston believes North Carolina teachers are the best but adds it is up for the challenge to keep teachers in North Carolina.

Copyright 2014 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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