CA School District Puts ‘Now Hiring’ Flyers in Lunch Boxes, Staff Shortage


  • A short-staffed school district is giving students “now hiring” flyers to take home, AP reported.
  • Staff in the California school district are packing the flyers into students’ lunch boxes, per the report.
  • The district has more than 200 job openings. Other US school districts are struggling for staff too.

A school district in California is packing students’ lunch boxes with “now hiring” flyers for them to take home to their parents as it struggles with a shortage of staff, AP reported on Thursday.

The Morongo Unified School District, in the Mojave Desert, has more than 200 job openings for custodians, cafeteria workers, special education assistants, and other roles, Mike Ghelber, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, told AP.

Some US schools say they’re scrambling for staff because of a labor shortage. The pandemic led many staff to quit, while others that test positive for COVID-19 have to isolate. Teachers told Insider they’ve had to work long hours under a lot of pressure since March 2020.

In addition to the flyers, the California school district has advertised the positions on the radio, on social media, and in newspapers, AP reported.

“We’re all competing for a shrinking piece of the pie,” Ghelber told AP. “I don’t know if everybody is getting snatched up, or if they don’t want to teach in the COVID era, but it’s like the well has dried up.”

Staff in the Morongo Unified School District, which has 8,000 students, are carrying out tasks that are not part of their normal job, according to Ghelber.

“Principals and administrators are out being crossing guards. Secretaries are directing traffic because we’re short on supervisors,” Ghelber told AP.

Teachers told Insider in August that they were worried about stepping back into the classroom. Some said they often worked until the early hours of the morning, and had considered quitting teaching for a job in a restaurant. 

Some schools have handed teachers bonuses as a thank you for working during the pandemic. Georgia offered $1,000 to all K-12 public school-level staff including teachers, nurses, and admin staff in March. A school district in South Carolina has paid $2,500 retention bonuses to teachers who are set to stay in the job for the full 2021-22 academic year.



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