Houston schools recruit again in North Carolina

The Houston Independent School District will hold job fairs in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte in hopes of luring teachers to Texas. 

Officials from the Houston Independent School District are once again vying for North Carolina teachers. 

The district, led by former Guilford County Schools Superintendent Terry Grier, has job fairs scheduled this week in Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte.

The jobs are for "critical shortage" areas including bilingual education, secondary math and science, special education and career and technical education. 

In May, officials from the Texas district held a job fair in Raleigh to recruit teachers.

When asked in May about the implications of the job fair, Guilford County Schools Chief of Staff Nora Carr called the effort “classic Terry Grier."

“He’s always been very aggressive in recruiting top talent, and we have a lot of top talent in Guilford County,” Carr said in May.

The current teacher turnover numbers for Guilford County Schools are not immediately clear. District officials have said they have not seen an exodus like that reported in Wake County. 

In April, Wake County school officials reported that about 600 of the district's almost 9,000 teachers had left since July 1, 2013. They gave teacher pay as a primary reason for the exit of so many educators.

At $30,800, starting teacher pay in North Carolina is one of the lowest in the nation and lower than in neighboring states. 

The starting pay in Houston is $49,100, according to the school district's advertisement.

Grier has led the Houston school district since 2009, after leaving Guilford County. With almost 212,000 students, the district is the largest in Texas and the seventh-largest in the nation, according to its website.

Despite announcing plans in February to boost starting pay for North Carolina teachers, state leaders have not yet finalized a plan to make that happen. Wrangling over the state budget continues.

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Contact Marquita Brown at (336) 373-7002, and follow @mbrownNR on Twitter.