GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – In an economy where teachers are retiring or leaving in large numbers, the Grand Rapids Public School District (GRPD) has begun filling its 400 vacancies. 

Within the last 40 days, the district has hired 60 support staff members and 100 teachers.  Despite these hires, there are still 279 positions across the district that are vacant.

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“For our teaching roles, in a number of our roles, there is a level of education and aptitude required. But the primary skill we’re looking for is in the heart,” said Leon Hendrix, Executive Director of Communications for GRPS. “We’re looking for people who are dedicated to the education and well-being of our scholars, our young people who trust us to further their education. We know they deserve the best, so we’re looking for the best.” 

School officials have said the majority of the openings are support roles – such as custodial staff and secretaries – while math and science teachers, paraprofessionals, psychologists, social workers, and school nurses are also in high demand. 

The teachers’ union in Michigan estimated this year that 10,000 educators are leaving each year with only about 5,000 new teachers replacing them. 

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Those in the Grand Rapids Education Association (GREA) could receive a benefits package that includes a $1,000 signing bonus.  The GREA represents more than 1500 teachers and other professionals in the GRPS.   

Grand Rapids is the eighth largest public school district and the third latest employer in the City of Grand Rapids, according to GRPS .It employs more than 1,000 teachers to educate more than 14,000 scholars. 

These hires come after the GRPS Board’s decision to extend Superintendent Dr. Leadriance Roby’s contract through June of 2026. 

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