GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – Businesses are offering cash bonuses to entice new workers across the state. Now, a New Mexico school district is taking the same approach to recruiting more teachers. Gallup-Mckinley Schools Superintendent Mike Hyatt says it’s challenging to hire teachers right now because so many districts are short-staffed, so they are offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus to get their classrooms filled.
“We are right in the thick of it this recruiting season. This is why we are offering these incentives now to make sure we are being competitive. This is a great area to work, it’s a diverse unique community. It’s not Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Las Cruces where there may be a lot more things to do but we have a lot to offer,” Hyatt says.
Hyatt says they have about 80 teacher openings. He says the hardest positions to recruit are for math and science. Hyatt says along with the sign-on bonus they are offering a $2,000 moving incentive. There is also free housing and free utilities available for staff members working at rural schools in the district.
Hyatt says now more than ever, they need to attract and retain quality teachers. “Our students are in great need. They have not been provided a sufficient education in our country in our state because of the access they had to in-person learning. Some students work really well online but the vast majority have struggled,” Hyatt says.
Hyatt says they are leveraging federal and operational dollars to offer these incentives. He says teachers do have to sign on for two years to receive the $5,000 bonus. The district says teachers there can also qualify for student loan forgiveness.