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Boston Schools Struggling To Fill Teacher Jobs As First Day Approaches

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent
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WBZ-TV's Joe Shortsleeve Joe Shortsleeve
Joe Shortsleeve is chief correspondent for WBZ-TV News weekdays a...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Public Schools are looking for you!

In less than three weeks, students will return to Boston Public Schools, but will there be enough teachers? The clock to fill more than 120 open jobs is ticking.

And half of those positions are in just one school.

Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says officials are confident they’ll have all of the vacancies filled.

It may appear quiet outside Madison Park High School in Roxbury, but inside administrators are working feverishly to hire 61 teachers in the next two weeks. Parents have their fingers crossed.

A spokesperson for the Boston Public Schools says there is a good reason Madison Park High School has so many openings. The school was severely under performing and so all of the teachers were required to reapply for their own jobs.

Tia Marie graduated from Madison Park.

“Hopefully, teachers that shouldn’t be here are no longer here and teachers that should be here are still here,” Marie said.

Ross Wilson, who is in charge of hiring for Boston Public Schools, says all the classrooms will have teachers.

“We have phenomenal candidates, hundreds of candidates applying for positons in the Boston Public Schools,” Wilson said.

There are no job openings at Charlestown High School.  Headmasters district-wide were given new authority to hire their own teachers this year.

So, Will Thomas filled 13 positions.

“One year, I was waiting until the day before school started to fill a position. Now, all my positions were filled for over a month ago. I am sorry for the rest of the district, but I am happy for Charlestown High School,” Thomas said.

In all there are still 120 jobs to be filled district-wide, but Wilson predicts there will be no job openings come Sept. 2.

There are more than 57,000 student in the 128 Boston public schools. Last year, the graduation rate was 65.9-percent. That’s the highest it’s been since the state began tracking it.

The system is one of the most diverse in the nation with students from more than 100 countries. Nearly one in every two students speaks a language other than English at home.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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