The Dickson County school system will look into funding for “signing bonuses” to help in the recruitment of teachers. Hillary Hall, director of human resources for the school system, told the school board last week that recruiting teachers has become especially competitive as increases in curriculum have created a shortage of teachers in certain fields. Hall said Dickson County is in immediate need for math and special education teachers and she anticipates also needing more Spanish and career and technology education teachers in the spring. Hall said she recently attended a career fair at the University of Tennessee at Martin and of the 87 students participating, there were only three math and one special education future teachers. She said she hopes to be able to reach out to a pool of more than 1,200 teaching candidates at a job fair in February. Chairman Tim Potter said his understanding of changes made by the legislature last year gives local education agencies “more flexibility” in what they can do in recruiting teachers. Potter said he would support paying an incentive bonus to recruit a quality teacher. Budget Director Linda Frazier said at one time Dickson County allocated funds for bonuses and at one point some Race to the Top federal funds could be used. Director of Schools Dr. Danny Weeks said he would look at creating a fund for recruitment bonuses when the county begins preparing its 2013-14 budget, as well as looking at ways to make Dickson County’s entire employment package “more attractive.” Weeks said the school system should continue improving conditions and “taking care of our teachers who are here.” Changes made last year by the Tennessee General Assembly took away teachers’ associations’ right to negotiate collectively and replaced it with a process called collaborative conferencing when current contracts expire. The Dickson County Education Association’s contract with the school system expires in June.