Bossier Schools hopes new program will help with teacher shortage

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Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) - Across the ArkLaTex, districts are dealing with teacher shortages. This includes Bossier Parish Schools.

There are approximately 1,500 teachers in the district. One-hundred and thirty-five teachers left after the 2021-22 school year. However, officials say they have some solutions to help resolve the issue.

“One of the programs we’re really proud of is our P-to-T program. It’s called our Paras-to-Teachers Program, P-to-T, and again that means to practice, to also prepare, and to promote,” said Dr. Tracey Burrell, Supervisor of Recruitment and Retention with Bossier Schools.

The district pays for their seven teacher certification exams at $90 each, and they cover the costs for a professional teacher tutor.

“I started in January and I’m already in the classroom in August,” said Holly Gray, elementary teacher.

The program began this year and had a graduating class of 13.

“If you are able to do the Para-to-Teacher Program, definitely do it. It’s amazing. They’re paying for you to take your Praxis. They’re paying for you to be tutored so you can learn how to take these Praxis. All you need is a bachelor’s degree, and they’ll do the rest,” said Gray

Bossier Parish Schools also say they have raised substitute teacher pay from $60 to $70 dollars, up to $100 to $120 as an effort to get more subs in their district.