Florida School Districts Continue to Face Teacher Shortages

The 2022-23 K-12 school year begins in less than two months and Florida school districts are facing teacher shortages.

As of this week, Duval County Public Schools reported 529 vacancies for certified teachers, up 23% — nearly 100 positions — compared to the start of last school year. This year’s vacancies are almost double the number Duval saw at the beginning of 2020-21 school year.

In addition, Orange County Public Schools lists over 200 K-12 teacher openings and Brevard County Public Schools lists 235 teacher vacancies.

And while the numbers are daunting they should not be surprising.

According to surveys by the Florida Education Association(FEA), the number of teacher vacancies have increased a 104% since August 2019. In August 2019, the FEA reported there were 2,135 advertised positions. This number increased to 2,962 in August 2020 and ballooned to 4,359 by January 2022.

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Moms for Liberty Files Lawsuit Against Brevard County School Board

A chapter in Brevard County of a conservative group titled, Moms for Liberty, has filed a lawsuit against the county’s school board for implementing a public participation policy that they feel is being used to limit free speech and discriminate against speakers with opposing views.

The public participation policy is said to prohibit speakers from making comments that are “personally directed,” “abusive,” or “obscene;” while the Board Chair, Misty Belford, enforces the policy so that speakers can only address her or the Board as a whole, rather than letting speakers talk directly to or about a specific board member.

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