HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas is looking for a few thousand good teachers.
And right now is prime recruiting season, with school officials across the state trying desperately to secure quality educators.
Superintendent Jerry Burch, who heads USD 309 Nickerson-South Hutchinson, was in Colorado last month trying his luck at a recruitment fair.
In his district, 45 percent of the teachers are eligible to retire within the next three to five years.
Darren Dennis, Garden City schools personnel director, recently returned from a recruiting trip to Texas.
Kansas Department of Education Commissioner Alexa Posny said 36 percent of Kansas teachers are eligible to retire within the next five years _ that's more than 13,000 of the state's 37,000 teachers.
At the same time, she said, fewer Kansas college graduates are entering the education field.