The Conroe ISD board of trustees has approved temporarily handing over hiring power to Superintendent Curtis Null for the next four months.

The board approved the change, which will begin in April, after an executive session at the March 23 board meeting.

Null said the unprecedented request was brought to the board to help address the teacher shortage in the district.

"One of the issues that we ran into last year was getting feedback from principals that they had made recommendations to hire teachers, and by the time [human resources] got to that teacher, the teacher at moved on because they had not heard from us officially," he said during the meeting. "We were losing teachers."

The previous policy included waiting for trustees to approve all position hires under the level of principal as part of the consent agenda. The process could take up to six weeks, Null said.

"Meanwhile, [the teachers] don't want to resign from their current jobs until they have a contract in front of them," he said. "It's holding everything up."

According to the Conroe ISD website, the school district currently has 357 job openings, including 264 certified teacher positions.

"In this hiring window, it's more crucial," he said. "I think it would benefit us to move quicker."

Null will be able to approve new hires and promotions from April to July. He said the board will still receive a weekly or biweekly list of hires throughout the process.

Hiring will return to the board after the four-month trial in August, according to information at the meeting.