Leon County school leaders speak on teacher shortage in Florida

Rocky Hanna said there were about 100 teacher vacancies, and although some are being filled, it’s still a major issue as the school year approaches.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 1:19 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Many school districts in Florida, including Leon County, are scrambling to find teachers just a few weeks before the beginning of the school year.

Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna said the state is currently short about 9,500 teachers.

In June, the county hosted a career fair, hoping to find more teachers and fill other staff openings. Hanna said there were about 100 teacher vacancies, and although some are being filled, it’s still a major issue as the school year approaches.

Scott Mazur, the president of the Leon Classroom Teacher’s Association, said better work environments and pay are just a few of the things that matter when it comes to hiring and retaining teachers.

He says despite higher salaries, bonus pay and other financial incentives, the shortage is real and districts are having to think outside the box to fill the void.

“Having to recruit, some districts, from even out of the country. So, our most important thing is making sure that we have the highest quality teachers in place,” Mazur said. “So again, if it’s not the most important thing that the district is doing right now, then it needs to be.”

Hanna said LCS is committed to retaining current teachers and filling open positions.

A public bargaining session was scheduled for Wednesday, as the union continues negotiations with the district on implementing teacher pay raises the state passed last year.

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