HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Republican candidate for governor of Connecticut tackled the teacher vacancy issue in Hartford Public Schools.

At a press conference Tuesday, Bob Stefanowski acknowledged the 90 vacant teacher positions in Hartford schools. If elected, he said he would use some of the $5 billion state budget surplus to help fill the gaps.

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“As a governor, you to try to balance that,” Stefanowski said. “Maybe it’s pay I don’t know. Maybe we do need to pay incoming teachers more to attract them.”

Mayor Luke Bronin responded, saying it’s not about lack of funding.

“That’s the challenge of a tight labor market in which a lot of people re-assessed their choices the last couple of years, but look, I’m pleased Bob Stefanowski is interested in making an investment into education.”

When the mayor was asked about temporarily waiving teacher certifications as a solution, he said leaders “need to be cautious about lowering standards.”