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SPPS offering bonuses up to $10K for 'hard-to-fill' positions

The district is looking ahead to the 2023-24 school year, targeting educators in the area of special ed, math, chemistry, middle school science and phys ed.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Nearly three months are left in the current school year, yet the St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) are laying out staffing plans for 2023-24 and offering significant bonuses in a handful of specialties. 

The district announced Monday that it will offer new hiring and retention bonuses of up to $10,000 for what it calls "hard-to-fill" positions that include 70 openings in special education. They include spots for teachers, social workers, psychologists and speech and language pathologists.

Other in-demand openings are for teachers in math, chemistry, middle school science, physical education, Montessori and language immersion.

“Saint Paul Public Schools is taking this bold and proactive step to ensure our students have the best educators in the state, particularly the 17% of our students who are eligible for special education services,” said Executive Chief of Human Resources Patricia Pratt-Cook in a released statement. “Our students deserve nothing less, and in this competitive job market, we need to do everything we can to attract the best candidates to our classrooms.”

A report issued by the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board earlier this year stated that 84% of Minnesota school districts reported being "somewhat significantly" or "very significantly" impacted by the teacher shortage. Special Education remains an area of high need, not just for SPPS but districts across Minnesota. Because of that licensed special ed professionals are being offered the highest bonuses, $10,000 to be paid out in three installments over two years. 

SPPS says current district staff who get licensed and hired for these positions will also receive the bonus.

Other incentives include:

  • $4,000 for the first 60 educators who hold a Tier 2, 3 or 4 license and are hired to teach math, chemistry, middle school science, physical education, Montessori, language immersion or English as a Second Language (Latino Consent Decree positions only).
  • $4,000 for the first 50 special education educational assistants (EAs), behavior intervention specialists and mental health practitioners hired for next year.
  • $4,000 for the first 50 special education teaching assistants (TAs) hired for next year.
  • $2,000 for current Tier 2 special education teachers in SPPS who obtain a Tier 3 or 4 license by November 2023.

The district encourages all interested candidates to visit the SPPS careers page. Licensed positions for next year are posted now. In addition to bonuses, SPPS says it offers comprehensive benefits packages, predictable schedules, and a diverse and supportive workplace. 


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