An official from the Organization of DeKalb Educators told DeKalb’s school board recently that she hoped the district would begin the new year with a certified teacher in every classroom.

DeKalb Schools lost 900 more teachers over the last school year

The DeKalb County School District lost about 900 teachers for the second consecutive year.

But the district should have a teacher surplus, according to numbers furnished by the human capital management office. That same office reports 271 teacher vacancies as of July 10.

District officials have offered nothing to suggest why they need hundreds more teachers than expected.

While the district lost 887 teachers since July 1, 2016, it hired 1182 in the same reporting period. It reported 372.5 vacancies at the start of the 2016-2017 school year, which would result in a shortage of 79.5 teachers.

But the district also reported currently employing 85 teachers through certification waivers.

Teachers reported leaving for a number of reasons — from moving away and getting married, better jobs at neighboring districts or retiring.

The loss of 887 teachers — about 14 percent of the district’s teachers — is the most of any district in metro Atlanta.

Last year, Superintendent Steve Green said of the shortage that he expected some people would leave as the district transitioned to higher standards under his leadership.

In neighboring Atlanta Public Schools, officials said an aggressive campaign to retain school administrators has helped with retention efforts. The district’s retention rate over the last year was just over 90 percent.

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