It can be hard to attract new teachers to small school districts, so superintendents have had to become more creative and aggressive, reports the Associated Press. It has always been tough to recruit teachers for specialized positions such as music and industrial arts, but superintendents say it’s never been more difficult than it is today. And the rural settings and lower salaries that small school districts offer can make it even tougher. Recent college graduates tend to dismiss small schools out of hand, because as singles in their early 20s, they see rural areas as a social dead-end. The hiring challenges don’t mean, though, that superintendents are relegated to advertising a position, then praying for applicants. Many are diligently building relationships with education departments in the state’s colleges, then relentlessly pursuing their graduates. Dan Bird, superintendent of Burwell, Neb., public schools, said it’s not unusual for him and his colleagues to call coveted students directly. That’s a significant change from years past, when the candidates had to make themselves stand out to districts. The Giltner, Neb., district owns five homes in town that it rents out to young teachers for a low cost. Other districts try to develop their own teachers…

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