From Marfa Public Radio:
Summer vacation is in full swing across Texas. Families going on long trips. On hot days, kids heading to the pool with friends or are running down ice cream trucks to get a cool treat. But for school officials in Odessa’s Ector County Independent School District, or ECISD, it’s crunch time.
With a few months until the start of school, administrators are trying to hire as many teachers as possible. That’s because Permian Basin schools are notorious for having trouble recruiting and retaining workers. (In Odessa alone, the labor shortage is in the hundreds.) What’s more, there are more students now in Odessa schools. In the past, school populations would rise and fall with the industry’s boom-bust cycle. But after the bust in 2014, something changed – families stuck around.