YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s getting harder to find math teachers. Youngstown Schools CEO Krish Mohip said that’s a nationwide trend but his district still has openings to fill.
At the end of last school year, Mohip said most of the high school math teachers left. Between East and Chaney, that’s a total of nine teachers to replace.
“We’ve struggled to retain, or even bring in, math teachers. There’s a cohort of students here in this district that did not get a math teacher for four full years prior to my arrival. That can never happen again so we’re going to do whatever we need to do, go out and find some teachers.”
Mohip said it’s even harder to find people for the job when his math teachers are among the lowest-paid in Mahoning County.
With just 28 days left until the start of school, he still has six more math teachers to hire. As an incentive to apply, he’s making their salaries negotiable.
“I think it’s an issue of supply and demand so depending among how many people we can get to come to the district,” Mohip said.
The average high school math teacher makes about $50,000 to $60,000 a year. While Mohip wouldn’t commit to a number, he said he’s not willing to pay an extremely high salary to get a qualified math teacher to come to Youngstown.
“I mean, we’re going to stay within the realm of the salary scale. Again, we’re not going into some astronomical numbers but just whatever’s fair for what we feel the experience they’re bringing into the district.”
A representative of the Youngstown Teachers Union said, according to the contract, there’s a limit to which Mohip can go. The union said he can offer math, science, and special education teachers up to three more years of service credit on the salary schedule than they actually possess.
Mohip said he thinks that’s incorrect.
“That’s something the union and I can discuss if they feel they need to talk about that.”
Mohip will follow the salary schedule but said he can go up as many steps as he wants.