COVINGTON, Ky. — The upcoming school year will look different than last year's, and if some districts don't fill staff vacancies, the schools could be more difficult.
"It's been extremely challenging," Ken Kippenbrock, executive director of human resources and operations at Covington Independent Public Schools, said. "There is a lot of competition, not only from other school districts, but also from other sectors within the economy."
The district needs to fill a lot of positions, and the largest needs are bus drivers and food service workers. However, competitive wages and benefits from other operations are making it difficult to get people in the door.
"Our transportation, we're competing against Amazon and FedEx and UPS," Kippenbrock said. "Food service, you know, we're competing against restaurants."
Loveland City School Superintendent Mike Broadwater said his district has the opposite problem, though.
"We've had many more candidates," he said. "Last year, it was very, very difficult because we were all, we didn't know, we didn't know what the future held... It was a lot more unknown when it came to COVID. With the vaccine being available, it really seemed to put a lot of the unease at rest with some of the staff members."
Cincinnati Public Schools are hiring, but it is focusing efforts into hiring social workers as part of a three-year plan the district was working on before COVID-19 hit. The district is set to double its social worker staff.
"We had around 27 school social workers for 50 to 60 schools," Dr. Carrie Bunger with CPS said. "They were spread very thin. We know for our students to be able to learn and thrive, we also need to be able to support their behavior and social, emotional skills."
Back in Covington, though, Kippenbrock hopes people will consider applying to work in education.
"Please give education a chance," he said. "There's something for just about everyone. So please look through and give us a consideration."
Anyone interested in a position with Covington Independent Public Schools can learn more here.