Portland Superintendent’s Notebook: Portland Schools Want You To Work For Them

The iconic poster in which Uncle Sam urges service to our country by pointing a finger and saying “I want you” is familiar to most Americans. In this column, I want to borrow the words of Uncle Sam and say “Portland schools want YOU – as substitutes, volunteers and regular employees, including education technicians, teachers and bus drivers.”

As you know, we have vacancies due to labor shortages in Maine and across the country, which makes staffing all school districts, including ours, a challenge this year. We are doing a lot of things to solve this problem.

We’re also asking our community to help — by applying for jobs, volunteering, and raising awareness of opportunities at Portland Public Schools. Do you have friends or family who would like to move to Maine? A well-paying job with great benefits at PPS could allow them to do just that.

Xavier Botana is Superintendent of Portland Public Schools. He can be reached at [email protected]

One of the job needs is for education technicians. November 16 is Education Support Professionals Day, a time to honor essential employees such as education technicians, who play a vital role in the success of our students. We are very grateful to our education technicians and are doing everything we can to attract and retain more of them.

The Board of Public Education recently approved a new contract with our education technicians that increased salaries, making us more competitive with neighboring districts. The contract includes annual salary and step increases over three years; first 5.4%, then 4.4% in the second and third years. The total increase over the term of the contract is almost 15%.

The Maine Department of Education is moving forward with a program that will pay education technicians in specialty programs such as our district programs Breathe, Bridge, and Beach an additional $2,500 if they attend a five-week course. . We hope to leverage this for the recruitment and retention of educational technicians in these programs.

We also held our second job fair on November 4, focusing on Education Technicians and Substitute Teachers. This fair and another we held in early October produced much needed candidates. We will continue to hold monthly job fairs focused on areas of employment need. Fairs are an opportunity for candidates to apply and interview in person. We are open to job sharing for people who can only work part-time.

Substitute Educator Day is November 18. We are always grateful for these employees and especially this year. We need more submarines. To attract this essential staff, we have temporarily increased the salaries of replacements for this school year. The daily rate of pay for our long-term replacements is $238; dedicated replacements will receive $175; state-certified substitutes will be paid $150; and bachelor’s substitutes will receive $145. Less qualified replacements will see their wages increase to $95 per day.

As another hiring incentive, we are temporarily offering any member of our staff who refers a candidate for a vacant Education Technician or Teacher position $1,000 if we hire that person and they complete the school year. with us.

We also need more bus drivers, catering staff and caretakers, so this will be our next area of ​​hiring. For supply or permanent jobs of all types, visit our Human Resources jobs page on our website, portlandschools.org, to learn more and apply.

Our schools also need caring volunteers. Can you help? Find out more on our Volunteering page.

Whether you can be a locum or volunteer—or you can apply for one of the permanent positions—we need YOU to support public education in Portland.

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