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Report breaks down Florida teacher shortage, state’s response

ORLANDO, Fla. — Summer’s over, school is in session and teachers are back in class, for the most part.

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However, every local district is facing a teacher shortage in one way or another, and it’s a problem that isn’t going away soon.

According to a report by Florida TaxWatch, the Florida Department of Education in February projected a need to fill about 9,000 teacher vacancies before the start of the upcoming school year.

READ: ‘Off to a great start’: Central Florida students wrap up first day of school

By June, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity found 5,837 open teaching positions online, up 53% from June of 2021.

The report found that the teacher shortage was so bad, that about 10% of teachers active during the 2021-2022 school year weren’t properly certified to teach in their field.

The report says Florida’s average annual teaching salary is down about 13% since the 2009-2010 school year.

READ: Local school districts work to adapt to Florida’s new laws

The report also goes into detail about what the state is doing to try to reverse course, like increasing pay for teachers.

About $800 million was allocated to raise Florida’s minimum teacher pay and to boost the salary of veteran teachers, meaning the average starting salary will be at least $47,000, and Florida will have the ninth-highest average starting salary in the nation.

READ: Incoming OCPS superintendent shares priorities, challenges for district

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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