Staffing Shortages Hit South Florida’s Schools To Start The School Year
Bottom Line: A national trend across the employment spectrum is proving to be a paramount concern at the start of Florida’s 2021-2022 school year. From school bus drivers to the teachers themselves, there are serious shortages which are already proving to have an impact in South Florida’s schools to start the year. Starting with simply trying to get to school.
Twenty of Florida’s 67 school districts are short of the necessary bus drivers at the start of the school year. This includes Broward’s school district which is short approximately 150 drivers as it begins its school year today, in addition to unknown numbers in Miami-Dade, which begins next week and Palm Beach County which hasn’t disclosed but has been recommending parents drive their children to school if possible since school began last week. Reports of children waiting at bus stops for up to two hours were reported during Palm Beach County’s first week. The shortages don’t end once students reach the classroom.
According to recent job postings there were approximately 8,700 shortages inside of Florida’s school districts. This consists of about 5,000 teacher shortages and 3,700 support staff members. That’s an increase of 67% compared to the start of last school year. Not surprisingly, with South Florida’s school districts being the largest in the state, the shortages are largest here as well - with Broward leading the state with 531 vacancies to start the year. So, what’s happening? A lot of teachers are teaching classes they’re not qualified to teach.
- According to the FEA, 13.5% of English classes are set to be taught by teachers who aren't certified to teach English, along with 8.1% of math teachers not certified to teach math
That’s obviously not likely to help improve proficiency in those critical areas. These recruitment challenges we’ve been talking about for most industries throughout South Florida all summer, are playing out real-time in our schools as well. There are plenty of opportunities throughout South Florida’s school districts for those interested in work with part and full-time options available.