— For more than five years, the city of Dearborn has struggled to rebuild its schools following the coronas outbreak.
But the city is hoping for a boost from a partnership between the school district and a nonprofit organization that offers guidance on how to help rebuild schools after the outbreak.
The partnership was announced Monday at a news conference, and it will allow the school system to begin hiring temporary school support workers to assist with the reopening of schools.
Schools that have already reopened are receiving a boost in personnel from the district and the school board, the news release said.
The effort is a response to the coronave outbreak that hit the city on March 4, when a massive outbreak of the virus killed more than 80 people and affected more than 3 million people in the United States.
As of Monday, the district has more than 200 full-time employees and about 2,100 temporary staff who are expected to help with reopening, the announcement said.
Teachers, students and staff are being offered health insurance and are being given job protections, the release said, as well as financial support and a training program for teachers.
Schools have been under a federal lockdown for weeks following the pandemic, but that has eased somewhat.
Officials have also increased the number of workers available to support schools with staff shortages, with about 20,000 positions being offered to school districts across the country, according to the American Federation of Teachers.
But the district still faces challenges.
In Dearborn alone, about 8,400 jobs have been lost as a result of the pandemics, and there are about 1,600 full- and part-time positions in the district, according a district spokeswoman.
Many of those positions are in areas that have seen increased student-to-teacher ratios, and that has made it more difficult for teachers to find jobs in those areas, said Mary M. Richey, who heads the district’s Department of Education.
“It is also an issue that we are not getting enough students coming to the schools,” she said.
“And that is why the district is making the hiring effort.”
The district has already had a bump in hiring in recent weeks.
In the last few weeks, district officials have seen an increase in hiring by both temporary and full-fledged staff, the school spokeswoman said.
Some districts have been looking at ways to boost the number and level of temporary workers they can recruit.
Teachers who are hired for a job, typically to help fill a specific position, are able to transfer to another position, the Detroit Free Press reported.
But for some districts, such as the Detroit Public Schools, it may be too late.
In recent weeks, the state of Michigan suspended the city’s school contract with the Detroit Institute of Arts and the city, which also has a contract with Detroit City Schools, said the Detroit News.
The city has been struggling to rebuild after the pandas outbreak, with thousands of students missing school for months, and the district recently announced that it would shut down some schools in a bid to stem the spread of the corona.