SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -School resumes in a few weeks and this year both Sarasota County School District and Manatee County School District have increased their recruitment efforts for new teachers.
Sarasota County School District currently has 64 teacher openings, which is about half of the numbers of teacher openings they had this time last year.
Most of their teacher openings are for specialized subjects such as middle school math teachers and special education teachers. Sarasota County School District's Executive Director of Human Resources, Roy Sprinkle, said it's always hard to fill specialized teaching positions because there aren't a lot of people who go to school to teach those subjects.
Sprinkle said the decrease in teacher openings is due to the superintendent and the school board investing this year in recruitment and retention.
"We have added one position so far to help us with electronic recruitment of teachers and classified. That person started a week ago, so we are new to that. We are also adding two full time recruiters to get out there and help us at the local universities in the state as well as across the nation to find those best and brightest teachers across the whole country to come to Sarasota," Sprinkle said.
SCSD also created an Emerging Educators program with the help of the Barancik Foundation. The program gives current Sarasota County teacher aides or other staff members the opportunity to go to school to become teachers if they want to. The district also has made efforts to encourage students to go to school to become teachers as well.
Manatee County School District has also increased their teacher recruitment efforts this year. The district currently has 26 teacher openings which is less than the 151 teacher openings they had this time last year.
The district's Deputy Superintendent attributes the change to starting the recruitment process earlier, having more job fairs, and the approval of the One Mill Referendum tax, which helped increase some of the district employee's wages.
Both school districts are also looking to fill bus driver and food and nutrition services positions as well.