- Vacant teaching positions have risen 21 percent in Florida compared to last year
- When compared to 2018, vacancies are up 200 percent
- FEA President Andrew Spar stated that following a review of each Florida school district’s website on Thursday, there are 5,294 teacher vacancies and 4,631 support staff openings posted
Vacant teaching positions in Florida have risen 21 percent compared to last year and more than 200 percent since 2018, according to the Florida Education Association (FEA).
FEA President Andrew Spar stated that following a review of each Florida school district’s website, there are 5,294 teacher vacancies and 4,631 support staff openings posted.
“Nearly 10,000 total vacancies in Florida’s public schools. Florida must address this massive teacher & staff shortage,” said Spar.
Florida has been facing a teacher shortage for several years, with the crisis reaching a peak last year. Factors contributing to the shortage include low pay, high levels of testing and accountability, and the lack of support for new teachers, according to studies conducted on the matter.
The shortage is particularly acute in certain subject areas like science, math, special education, and English as a second language, which has led to larger class sizes and a lack of qualified teachers in schools.
The state has taken some steps to address the shortage, such as offering signing bonuses and tuition reimbursement, but more needs to be done to make the profession more attractive to potential teachers, according to the FEA.
“FEA advocates several actions now and during the next legislative session, including providing fair, competitive pay for teachers and staff, reducing standardized testing, and allowing qualified teachers to earn multi-year contracts,” states the union.
The 5,294 teacher vacancies represents a 21% increase over last year at this time and over 200% more than 5 years ago at this time. This is the most pressing issue facing the education of Florida’s students. It is time to #FixTheTeacherShortage
— Andrew Spar (@andrewsparfea) January 12, 2023
In August, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the launch of a new initiative to recruit qualified military veterans to become teachers across the state.
According to a new law that grants veterans the ability to teach, those who earn a temporary certificate must be monitored for at least two years by a more experienced education professional. The supervisor is required to possess a current teaching certificate, have at least three years of experience in classrooms, and receive the state’s top performance review marks.
According to a piece published by Military.com, just seven veterans were taken on as teachers through the program.