ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Less than a month now until students in Dougherty County head back to class, however the school system is still in need of more teachers.
According to J.D. Sumner, a spokesperson for the Dougherty County School System, they're hoping to fill around 40 vacancies before the start of the upcoming school year.
"We are really excited to kind of narrow that number down. It's a big priority around here to make sure that we start the school year with the least vacancies as possible." Sumner said.
The school system admitted that it's been difficult to attract and recruit new teachers. It's become a problem for many school systems throughout the state.
Metro Atlanta, Central Georgia, and Southeast Georgia are reportedly also finding it difficult to find new recruits.
"We're actually in a pretty decent position. We don't want to start the year obviously with any vacancies. But at the same time, we want to make sure that we start off the year with qualified people in front of our students." Sumner said.
An Albany mother told WALB News 10 last month that she's worried her children won't have certified teachers.
However, the Dougherty County School System assured that students will have qualified leaders in the classroom.
"The reality is that we have vacancies we need to fill, but we're not going to just throw any warm body in there. We want someone who's capable, qualified, and good at what they do," Sumner mentioned.
If the school system doesn't fill all of the vacancies then it will hire long-term subs.
Sumner said the long-terms subs will be knowledgeable in their subjects, develop their own lesson plans, and work alongside the principals.
Many of the long-term subs are actually working towards their teaching certifications and could become full-time educators if approved by the school board.
Dougherty County students return to class on Tuesday, August 2nd.