NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — More than 40 teaching jobs are open in Northwest Florida with one week before the start of the academic school year.
Okaloosa County School District Superintendent Marcus Chambers said they hired 235 educators over the summer, which is more than usual, but still need more.
“Right now we have about 43 vacancies,” said Chambers. “So 20 of those are in our general education classrooms, and that’s comprised of 13 elementary classrooms that we still need to hire 5 middle and five high. And then we have approximately 23 of our REC, classroom teachers and those are the classroom teachers that work with our students with disabilities.”
Chambers said they hope to fill the positions soon but in the meantime they have plenty of substitutes.
Alongside the need for teachers, Chambers said the district is looking to fill other important roles that make a school district successful.
“So bus drivers is always an area that here in Okaloosa, but also across the state of Florida, the bus drivers are in shortage. So we’ll continue to be aggressive and try to get bus drivers, but right now in terms of the start of the year, we’re prepared to get our kids to school and take them home,” said Chambers.
“Also custodians,” said Chambers. “We’re looking to hire what we call paraprofessionals, and those are individuals who go into the classroom and help teachers so they’re assigned to classrooms or multiple classrooms, so those are a few areas where we know that we’re still working hard to get them hired.”
A recent military strong bill passed by Florida State legislature gave more opportunities to military members and families to join the education industry.
“We’re fortunate here,” said Chambers. “We’ve hired a lot of military spouses over the years, and that’s a blessing to us. But now with this change, it’s something that will definitely look through our human resources department to get that word out even more so.”
More than military members, Chambers spoke to the changing education workforce.
“Where the vast majority of teachers that used to come to school districts, they came from a college. They they earned their education degree and then they would look to get employment in school districts. So we still have that, but not as much.” said Chambers. “Now you have what you also call career changers. So they may have a degree, they may have been in real estate, or they may have been in the business world and now they want to come teach. And we’re grateful for that. ’cause we we want teachers.”
OKalooas County School district begins Wednesday, August 10. The district posts job oppurnities and other news online.