TEA Establishes Teacher Vacancy Task Force to Address Ongoing Staffing Challenges in Public Education


AUSTIN, Texas – March 10, 2022 —The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today announced the creation of the Teacher Vacancy Task Force to help address staffing challenges facing Texas public schools. 

While the continued population growth of Texas was already contributing to a staffing shortage in some of the state’s urban and suburban public school districts, schools in various rural areas, and also, those requiring certain specialized teaching positions were also previously experiencing staffing difficulties. COVID has only further amplified this challenge; and spikes in COVID cases have led to many public schools across Texas being short-staffed and unable to find substitute teachers to help fill in where needed. 

Additionally, over the last two years, nearly $18 billion in COVID-19 relief funding has been distributed to school systems, allowing for a critical increase in the number of teachers, staff, and other priority support positions needing to be filled in public schools throughout Texas.

“Teachers are the single most important school-based factor affecting student outcomes,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “The Teacher Vacancy Task Force will further ensure our ability to provide the best guidance, support, and resources to help schools find and retain the teachers they need for all their students.” 

TEA is launching the Teacher Vacancy Task Force to ensure that Texas schools are equipped with a comprehensive set of strategies to address these challenges, working to:

  • Understand the challenges districts are currently facing related to teacher vacancies 
  • Share best practices for addressing critical teacher vacancy and shortage areas, including exploring opportunities for certification, placement, and hiring flexibilities 
  • Develop recommendations for regulatory or other policy changes for TEA 
  • Provide feedback on TEA initiatives designed to help impact vacancies

The Teacher Vacancy Task Force will rely heavily on the presence and input of current teachers; additionally, TEA plans to have a designated teacher panel in future Task Force meetings to ensure that the agency is receiving guidance and feedback from a diverse and representative range of teachers across Texas. 

The Task Force will be comprised of the following leaders in public education hailing from a variety of districts, geographies, and student populations from around the state: 

Rosie Vega-Barrio


Tornillo ISD

Norma Castillo

Executive Director of Talent

Austin ISD

Brandon Chandler

Chief Human Resources Officer

Gregory-Portland ISD

Richard Cooper 


Corrigan-Camden ISD

Brandon Enos


Cushing ISD

Narciso Garcia


Vanguard Academy

Bernadette Gerace

Executive Director of Human Resources

Prosper ISD

LaTonya Goffney


Aldine ISD

Roland Hernandez


Corpus Christi ISD

Jason Hewitt


Shepherd ISD

Jay Killgo


Vidor ISD

Andrew Kim


Comal ISD

Dave Lewis


Rochelle ISD

Judd Marshall


Mount Pleasant ISD

Casey Morgan

Executive Director of Human Resources


Ashley Osborne

Executive Director Talent Development

Ector County ISD

Chane Rascoe


Lampasas ISD

Melina Recio


McAllen ISD

Greg Rodriguez


Edcouch Elsa ISD

Rick Rodriguez

Chief Operations Officer

Lubbock ISD

Jean Streepey


Highland Park ISD

Chris Tatum

Chief Human Resources Officer

Amarillo ISD

Sherry Taylor

Executive Director of Human Resources

Aledo ISD

Justin Terry


Forney ISD

Roland Toscano


East Central ISD

Leah Tunnell

Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services

Burkburnett ISD

Diana Barrera Ugarte


Kenedy ISD

Christie Volmer

Chief Human Resources Officer

Hereford ISD

The Task Force will meet every other month for one year, with Commissioner Morath and agency leadership regularly facilitating discussions with Task Force members, while including insights gathered from experts throughout the State of Texas, including direct feedback from teachers.

For more information—including a full overview of this effort—please visit TEA’s new Teacher Vacancy Task Force web page.