School districts face significant teacher shortages, says Florida Education Association
The continued presence of COVID-19 has impacted the state’s school staff shortage.
Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association, said teaching and support staff positions have been difficult to fill lately.
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“We had a massive shortage of teachers and staff before (the) pandemic, and while the pandemic may have increased those numbers, we are seeing what we have never seen before,” Spar said.
He said data compiled by the FEA reveals the crippling effect the pandemic has had on school staff, further contributing to the shortages school districts have faced since 2016.
“We started this school year with just under 5,000 vacant positions among our teachers,” continued Spar. “We are now getting closer to about 5,100.”
By comparison, FEA saw only about 1,370 vacancies at the end of the school year in 2016.
He added that schools are also struggling to find replacements due to the increasing stress and pressure of being a school employee during the pandemic, a job made worse by the politics and division exposed in school boards across the board. ‘State.
“He’s driven by this story that we see at school board meetings,” Spar said.
The ongoing battle for mask warrants has exacerbated the problem, he explained.
Despite a drop in COVID-19 cases statewide, he said educators and policymakers must work together to find a proactive solution.
“As many scientists and medical professionals have said, it all depends on how we react to it. If these numbers start to go up, what are we going to do? Spar said.
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