by Gretchen Phillips - SoMdNews

Male teachers continue to be an area of need for Charles County and the state.

The school system’s human resources department reported to the Charles County Board of Education on Tuesday that of the 170 new hires, 37, or 21.8 percent were men, and 132 or 78.2 percent were women.

Sean McDonald, human resources specialist, told board members that the figure is on par with state figures. He said state data indicate that of those studying education in Maryland colleges and universities 81.4 percent are female.

Hiring male teachers, McDonald said, “continues to be an area of need.”

Staff reported that minority hires slightly increased. Of the new hires, 26.5 percent were from minority groups. This is less than a 1 percentage point increase from last year. Staff reported that of the new hires, 23 percent were black, 2.4 percent Hispanic and 1.1 percent Asian.

Minority hire percentages, staff reported, were on average with the state.

Of the minority hires, the number of black hires increased by 2 percent for females and 1 percent for males.

In a later interview, Education Association of Charles County President Elizabeth Brown said to get more minority teacher hires, the school system needs to make the teaching profession more appealing.

Teachers, she said, do not get into teaching to make money, but at the same time they “are not taking a vow of poverty either.”

Brown said all Maryland counties are looking to recruit minorities, and students should be able to have “teachers that look like them.” She said something needs to change that will make more young people want to go into the education field.

The majority of new hires come from Maryland, 83. The second highest recruiting states were Pennsylvania and New York, with 23 from each state.

Of the new hires, 29 recently graduated from a Maryland college or university.

There were 23 hires who were Charles County public school graduates.