Teacher positions nearly filled in Montgomery Co. before Monday’s start

Montgomery County, Maryland, is still hiring teachers with days to go before the start of the new school year.

But, Montgomery County Superintendent Monifa McKnight told reporters, “I am really happy to say that we are nearly fully staffed for teachers,” a change from last year.

According to data from MCPS spokesperson Christopher Cram, there are 148 teacher vacancies left, and 68 of those are special education positions.

In advance of the new school year, the school system hired 1,100 new teachers, rounding out the 13,646 positions across the system. Among those newly hired teachers, 207 are African American, 183 are Hispanic and 80 are Asian.

During the pandemic and as the school system returned to fully in person instruction, finding enough substitutes was a challenge, but Cram wrote in an email to WTOP’s question that the school year will open with a pool of 1,103 substitutes “ready to serve.”

The news regarding filling school bus driver positions after a staffing shortage was even better, explained McKnight in a Tuesday news conference with reporters.

“We are fully staffed for bus drivers,” she said.

As applause broke out among the Central Office staff members in the audience, McKnight added, “Yes, I think that deserves some applause.”

McKnight called the hiring of a full complement of bus drivers “a significant accomplishment,” adding that last year, “In many ways, we were crippled because of the transportation issues” as MCPS competed with school districts throughout the region to hire drivers.

McKnight added, “Not only are we fully staffed — we have a bench of drivers who are ready to get in and step in” if added staffing on bus routes is needed.

Montgomery County’s public school system is the largest in Maryland, with 211 schools and 162,000 students.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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