LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — School starts Thursday in Lafayette Parish, but the system office says it is still dealing with a teacher shortage.

John Mouton is the director of Employee Services at LPSS.

“We are still looking and will keep looking if we have to,” Mouton stated.

He says the situation is better this year than it was last year.

“We’re still looking and will keep looking if we have to.”

“There is still a teacher shortage and there are still some positions we are struggling to fill but in relation to last year we did much much better this year.”

Over the summer, LPSS unleashed $4K and $5K stipends.

Mouton acknowledges the hiring incentives worked and says the district is 90 percent staffed.  The incentives, he says, are still on the table.

“We are in a better place than this time last year when we were not 90%.  We’re in a much better place this year but we’re not where we need to be.  There are still people that we need. We still need more certified teachers.  We still need paras. We still need people who are willing to work in the schools.  We still need people,​ and we are still looking for people.”

LPSS is one of many school districts going into the school year needing teachers.  

Mouton agrees the shortage can be challenging but LPSS is up to the task.

“We are skilled at finding them and we will keep finding them because at the end of the day we got to have people in front of our children to teach them.”