NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In Southlake, teachers are poised to receive $500 to $700 appreciation payments.

In Fort Worth, a job fair last Saturday netted 56 new teachers to fill current classroom vacancies, by offering a $1,000 signing bonus, and salaries averaging near $60,000 annually.

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In Dallas, the largest school system in North Texas will reward teachers with a retention incentive payment ranging from $2,500 to $3,500.

The supplemental payments for area educators are efforts to retain, recruit and reward teachers, in the effort to keep them.

“I think all districts are competing for the best talent,” Dallas ISD Compensation Executive Director Kristian Coopwood explained.

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Dallas ISD must maintain 10,000 teaching positions yearly.

“In a competitive market, this retention incentive will not only help us keep the outstanding staff who have been working tirelessly for our students this year but will also give us an advantage in recruiting staff to fill existing vacancies in our campuses and departments,” said Robert Abel, acting chief of Human Capital Management, released in a district report last week.

The past year of the COVID-19 pandemic also brought challenges for adequate staffing for area school districts.

Schools are challenged with position vacancies and an inadequate number of substitutes.

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The financial retention offers are geared to keep the work force schools have, and recruit new talent to fill classroom vacancies.