As labor shortages continue to plague schools across the county, districts are offering thousands of dollars in signing bonuses to entice new teachers and staff as the new school year begins, according to a report by The 74.

Hartford, Connecticut is offering a $5,000 signing incentive for educators in high-demand subjects like math, science and bilingual education. Taos, New Mexico promises a $50,000 starting salary for any new teacher hire, plus a $10,000 bonus. Stanly County Schools in North Carolina announced a $10,000 signing incentive.

In an extreme example, Gallup-McKinley County Schools in New Mexico is incentivizing teachers to join the district’s ranks by dangling bonuses ranging between $18,000 and $22,000, plus $2,500 to 4,500 for relocation.

With bus drivers also in short supply, a school system outside Philadelphia, announced a $4,000 for drivers to join the district’s ranks, and California’s Eureka Union School District is offering $10,000.

While districts have been using incentives to attract workers for months, the dollar amounts recently have ballooned — perhaps reflecting a last-ditch effort to get fully staffed early in the school year.

The generous bonuses are only the latest examples of the extreme lengths school systems are taking to handle what some experts are calling a staffing crisis.

In Texas, several rural districts are switching to four-day weeks, and in Florida leaders are asking Army vets with no teaching experience to serve in classrooms. In Arizona, some children may soon receive instruction from college students rather than certified teachers. And in Buffalo, New York, a driver shortage has prompted leaders to consider providing a mileage reimbursement to parents who opt to drive their children rather than put them on the bus.

Nationwide, there were roughly 300,000 openings for education jobs in June, according to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other data indicate the total could be even higher: A representative sample of the nation’s nearly 100,000 schools reported an average of three teacher vacancies and another three unfilled non-teaching positions such as for custodial staff, cafeteria workers or bus drivers in a June survey from the National Center for Education Statistics, hinting there could be close to 600,000 openings.

More than three-quarters of school systems have increased their total number of employees above pre-pandemic levels, including both teaching and non-teaching roles, a recent study from the Rand Corporation found.