Battle Creek schools offering thousands in incentives to fill teacher gap

Calhoun County

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Battle Creek Public Schools is offering some major perks to attract job applicants.

The district is working to fill several remaining positions before the Aug. 25 start of the school year, according to Superintendent Kim Carter.

“Right now, we’ve been able to kind of chip away in the gap in our teaching staff but we still have approximately 14 openings that we’re trying to fill at this time, specifically in the area of math and science,” Carter said.

The districts is offering thousands of dollars in incentives to teachers who join the team.

“One of the things that we’re doing to recruit teachers is we’re offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus and $6,000 for those who are in the area of math and science,” Carter said.

Another unique program, through a partnership with the city, will give teachers access to money to help with housing.

“Teachers who are joining our team have access to a $10,000 down payment assistance or $4,500 for rental assistance as a part of our incentives,” Carter said.

A total of $5,500 per year is also available for higher education coursework approved by the board, in addition to money available for professional development studies. A $500 stipend is provided to teachers who achieve an effective rating and up to $700 can be given for good attendance.

“We truly believe that it’s important to invest in the success of our teachers,” Carter said.

A sign in front of the Battle Creek Public School administration offices says Dean Transportation is hiring. (Aug. 12, 2021)

Finding enough bus drivers is also a challenge, as it has been for other nearby districts. Marshall Public Schools had to switch to virtual learning for several days this spring because it did not have enough drivers to cover absences related to COVID-19 quarantines.

“We have a partnership with Dean Transportation and so as a contracted service, they have notified us that they’re having a hard time finding those individuals,” Carter said.

For information on how to apply for open positions, you can visit the Battle Creek Public Schools’ careers website.

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