By Nicole Nielsen

(CBSDFW.COM) – Demand is high for teachers and school support staff.

Right now, there are about a dozen districts across North Texas looking to hire anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of employees.

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They say it’s a competition to employ the best of the best.

“We are competing with every other district in North Texas and across the state,” said Kent Scribner, Fort Worth ISD’s superintendent.

Many districts are hiring for all sorts of positions including teachers, substitute teachers, food-service workers, bus drivers and custodians.

They’re having to sweeten the deal, offering competitive salaries.

“Our teachers they rank in the top 10 school districts in the metroplex and teacher pay,” said Anita Foster, spokeswoman for Arlington ISD.

Some, like Dallas ISD are offering incentives.

“For example, bilingual certified teachers will get a signing incentive of $4,000,” said Priscilla Vega, the recruitment manager for the district.

Dallas ISD is looking for at least 315 teachers. Fort Worth ISD needs about 190 teachers and Arlington ISD needs 200.

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They say these numbers are pretty typical for this time of year. Even before the pandemic, school districts were seeing a teacher shortage.

“The COVID pandemic… has made teachers a little bit more needed, because so many educators decided to go into different careers,” said D’Andre Weaver, DeSoto ISD’s superintendent.

Fort Worth ISD’s superintendent says more teachers and smaller class sizes will be even more vital this year as they continue to fight the spread of COVID.

Despite the openings, many feel confident they will be staffed up come August

“That’s my goal, to make sure that we are fully staffed from top to bottom when we start the school year,” said Mia Stroy, chief of human resources for DeSoto ISD.

DeSoto ISD is having another job fair Thursday, July 22, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Fort Worth ISD is having a virtual fair on July 27 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

And Dallas ISD has two events coming up, one on July 22 and one on Aug. 5.

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Some other districts also hiring include Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, HEB ISD, Irving ISD and Northwest ISD.

Nicole Nielsen