Volusia County Schools ending the school year with 750-plus open positions

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County school district is ending the school year with 756 open positions.

Of those, 351 are teacher positions. The others are school support staff.


The teacher’s union said the number of open positions will likely grow before the start of next school year. The union said every summer dozens of teachers choose to retire or call it quits ahead of the new year.

To help, the district is working on retention and recruitment plans and is implementing stricter punishment for bad behavior.

The county’s teacher union president Elizabeth Albert said recruitment isn’t an issue, but retention seems to be.

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“Once we get them in here it’s very challenging for us to keep those folks in the classroom and once again, it has to do with support,” Albert said.

The district has implemented a new mentorship program where veteran and rookie teachers are paired up.

Deputy Superintendent for Operations and Student Services Rachel Hazel said recent legislation has extended teacher certification from three years to five years.

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“That’s going to be a huge help for us as far as retention goes because when you’re only certified for a three-year period, that really doesn’t give a lot of time to get all of the requirements done,” Hazel said.

Channel 9 asked both the district and the union why teachers are leaving.

Albert blames bad behavior.

“What would have been a challenging behavior four or five years ago would be something that you would kind of hope to deal with anymore. I mean we have issues of violence that occur daily in our campuses,” she said.

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Hazel points to societial changes saying present day, there are more low-pressure jobs.

“We are seeing the same thing that all other industries are seeing … There’s just more opportunities out there for everybody,” Hazel said.

There are two job fairs next week, one on Tuesday at Daytona State College and one on Wednesday at Horizon Elementary School.

The district also announced stricter punishment for bad behavior in schools for next year.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.