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Front Page » Education » Teacher shortages rife in state and throughout Miami-Dade

Teacher shortages rife in state and throughout Miami-Dade

Written by on March 27, 2018
Teacher shortages rife in state and throughout Miami-Dade

As the school year nears its end, the Florida Department of Education continues to point to teacher shortages in vital subject areas across the state and throughout Miami-Dade County.

“Historically, Florida does not have an overall shortage of teachers, but rather, shortages in certain subject areas,” said Audrey Walden, a department of education spokesperson.

According to a critical teacher shortage area report conducted by the department, the critical teacher shortage areas for the 2016-17 school year included:

  • General Science
  • Physical Science
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Reading
  • Exceptional Student Education (ESE)

In these areas, substantial proportions of teachers who aren’t certified in the field are being hired to teach the courses and vacancies abound, yet colleges and universities don’t graduate enough people to meet the needs of Florida’s students.

In comparison to the total of certifications held by teachers in 2014-15, which saw elementary education as the most common teacher certification at 23.3% followed by ESOL at 20.3%, numbers in 2016-2017 dropped off significantly, with ESE making up only 10.82% of certifications and reading and English making up 6.27% and 4.84% of certifications, according to the report.

One trend in particular that contributes to these shortages is the number of courses taught in each subject by teachers who aren’t certified in that field.

For example, of the 33,371 English courses statewide during 2014-15, teachers not certified in that field taught 3,343 – 10% of those courses.

As a result of these vacancies, Miami-Dade County Schools plan to utilize the data in the report to their advantage, according to spokesperson John Schuster.

“Nationally, subject areas most in need continue to be exceptional student education, math and science,” he said. “Miami-Dade County Public Schools teacher needs are aligned with those of the national data and in addition we are also experiencing a need for English teachers.”

As a result, he said, “to keep up with the demand, Miami-Dade County Public Schools recruits at the local, state and national level year-round.”

Use of consistent recruitment practices, he said, “affords the district the ability to recruit the most qualified individuals for our needs.”

4 Responses to Teacher shortages rife in state and throughout Miami-Dade

  1. Gerwyn Flax

    March 29, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    It is shocking to learn the 10% of teachers are not certified to teach the classes they “teach”. Yet we wonder why education in South Florida ranks so low.

  2. Jack W. Simonson

    March 30, 2018 at 10:33 am

    With all the time demanded by the Legislature for testing students and the convoluted teacher evaluation process it is a wonder anyone would want to teach in Florida.

  3. Educator

    March 31, 2018 at 10:44 am

    There are less college students majoring in education due to the low pay and low morale in teaching. With minimal increases in salary and no real financial mobility it is little wonder that there are so many vacancies. The clear solution is to increase pay across the board and not just for starting teachers who will burn out and leave the profession after 3-5 years only for the district to spend more money on training a new batch of recruits who will follow the steps of their predecessors. It’s time for the state and school districts to give teachers less lip service and take real action by paying educators fair salaries.

  4. tom

    June 20, 2018 at 8:42 am

    Its not about pay here in Michigan, its about respect and sanity. Also, it is about support and being treated like a professional that spent over $100K in college. Most teachers will not pay that off in 20 years. In summary, out of control students, out of control parents, high cost of education, low pay and lack of respect are the reasons teachers tell their students to not go into education. Now you see the result of this backlash against teachers.