The Huntsville Independent School District called a special meeting Thursday, and the Board of  Trustees approved entering into a service agreement with Proximity Learning. This agreement will help HISD gain quality teachers and place them in classrooms where they’re needed most.

“We currently have 20 vacancies in our schools,” said Gary Juarez, executive director of human capital and talent acquisition, during the meeting. “What we learned is that (Proximity Learning) allows us to provide a high-quality teacher, virtually, until we are able to find a certified teacher that could be in front of kids. It’s better than a substitute teacher, because it is a high-quality teacher that is certified and have their master’s degrees and are vetted by Proximity Learning.”

The new program will fill subjects such as ASL, bilingual, special education and others that are hard to find certified teachers for. The teachers are still responsible for duties including parent-teacher meetings, open houses and more.

Juarez said that the new agreement would not save the district money, but that the money being spent has already been allocated towards personnel costs. He stressed that even though the district is not saving money, they would be having a certified, high-quality teacher in the classroom everyday.

“For those additional dollars, we are paying for a high-quality teacher instead of a substitute, that might work today, might not work tomorrow,” Juarez said.

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