CLEVELAND - There's a teacher shortage in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
Right now, there are 76 open teaching positions with the district and until those positions are filled, schools are relying on the more than 400 substitutes they have on stand-by.
Trying to keep their promise of smaller class sizes, officials hope to make up for a late start hiring last spring by hosting a job fair Wednesday.
The district says the job fair at the Barbara Bennett-Byrd Center, 11404 Lakeshore Boulevard in Bratenahl is its first significant hiring in 15 years.
Since April, more than 140 applicants have been hired. Those who aren't already teaching in classrooms are in the process of getting their background checks.
The slow start to hiring created the shortage but it was made worse with 51 employees resigning or retiring since the start of the school year.
"We are almost a quarter of the school year in, that's the problem. I mean, if we were talking about this in July we would understand that, but this is almost November," said Pastor Phillips representing Common Good.
Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland schools, admits the shortage is a problem.
"If you don't have your certified teacher in the classroom, you have an urgent matter," he says. "We have to be urgent in filling this positions but also making sure we really get the right people in place for decisions that will have a long-lasting impact."
The job fair starts at 2 p.m. Wednesday and runs until 6 p.m.