According to the New Mexico Higher Education Department, the number of vacant teachers has decreased by 34 percent since last year.

“Transformations don’t happen overnight – but it’s clear that we are taking the necessary steps to improve New Mexico’s education system,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a press conference.

Last year the state had around 1,048 vacancies, now there are 690 according to the education department.

In RR earlier this year, several schools went virtual due to COVID and staff shortages.

The National Center for Education Statistics(NCES)did a study last year which showed f schools reporting at least one vacancy, special education was identified as the teaching position with the most vacancies, with 45 percent of schools reporting this vacancy.

General elementary and substitute teachers were reported as vacant by 31 percent and 20 percent of schools, respectively.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a staffing shortage in the nation’s schools,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr.

Rio Rancho Public Schools is still looking for staff and has had several job fairs this year.