(WTVO) — The number of teachers heading back to the classroom has hit a new low as schools across the country prepare to reopen their doors.

About 600,000 teachers and staff have left the field in the past to years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is down nearly 3%, and the National Education Association said that money is a major reason why. The average starting salary for a teacher is $43,000. Teachers average $61,000 per year overall.

Another factor is burnout, and several states are now trying to lure teachers by relaxing requirements.

RPS 205 will host a job fair on Thursday, as the district is in need of help in all departments. Many positions include a sign-on bonus. It is $3,000 for bus drivers, nutrition services and paraprofessionals.

District administrators said that filling these positions is important in order to give students the best support and education possible.

“It’s vital that the students get the support they need, whether it’s in the classroom, whether it’s outside the school in some of those support areas, but we really need to fill those positions to provide that support to our students to give them the best education possible,” said Jason Pope, director of recruitment for Rockford Public Schools.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Constance Lane Elementary School, 620 Gregory St.