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Teacher's Association pushes for more teachers amid shortage

Posted at 9:44 AM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 09:44:21-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — District leaders and local teacher advocates have differing views on whether there are enough teachers to take on the number of students returning to Leon County Schools this year.

Superintendent Rocky Hanna says the district does have enough teachers, although he does admit they may need extra help elsewhere.

"We are short bus drivers, bus aids, teacher aids, but as far as instructional positions I think we're in pretty good shape," said Hanna.

However, Leon Classroom Teachers Association president Scott Mazur says there's a notable teacher shortage.

"What we were told by the district last week," Mazur says, "was that there was an increase of 58% vacancies from last year at this same time, which means there's more open positions which means we're still having a teacher crisis."

Mazur adds that some elective classes may have upwards of 35 students enrolled. In addition to straining teachers, he says, it heightens COVID concerns.

"When these students get ill, we're not just talking about last year where half the students were on campus, now we're sending that many more students away to quarantine," Mazur said.

He's now waiting patiently for district leaders to find a working solution.

"We're hoping right now that after the ten day attendance record that the district will look again at where we have some of our shortages and what we can possibly do," said Mazur.

Superintendent Hanna says he's keeping an eye on the situation as well.

"As we add classes and more kids come back, it may become problematic, but right now, knock on wood, we're ok," says Hanna.

According to their website, LCS is home to more than 34,000 students and 2,400 teachers.

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