Osceola County

Osceola County schools face hundreds of teacher absences over COVID-19

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create staffing struggles at Central Florida schools.

An Osceola County School Board member is reacting to hundreds of teacher absences that are happening district-wide, with many due to the COVID-19 omicron variant.

READ: Coronavirus: Total US COVID-19 cases top 65M; Florida becomes 3rd state to top 5M infections

On Thursday, the Osceola County school district said more than 400 substitute teachers were needed.

The teachers’ union told Channel 9 the problem was going to continue into Friday, with 409 substitutes needed. They said those spots weren’t quickly filled either.

READ: Coronavirus: CDC updates mask recommendations

On Thursday, they said only 136 substitute spots were filled.

School board member Jon Arguello said while the number will fluctuate, in his opinion, there’s a bigger problem going on that he wants to tackle.

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“Right now, not every teacher in Osceola County wants to go to work; they don’t feel appreciated,” Arguello said. “Right now, the ball is not in the teacher’s court; right now the ball is in the leadership court to start solving these problems on a strategic issue.”

See more in the video above.

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