MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The new school year began last Monday, but many teacher positions still remain unfilled. To help reduce teacher shortage in the Suncoast, Manatee County schools started working with USF Sarasota-Manatee elementary education students.
“They will be offered an advanced contract by Manatee County School district,” said Dr. Marie Byrd, Director of the School of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
Manatee County Schools partnered with USF-Sarasota-Manatee to provide its elementary education students with a one of a kind program. The program applies for students who are beginning their final teaching internships in Manatee County Schools ahead of graduation in December.
“At first they will need to be a long term sub because their degrees won’t be conferred with the state of Florida, so once that happens they receive their statement of eligibility from the state of Florida, then they’ll be able to become to be a teacher,” said Dr. Vanessa Marasco, Coordinator of Clinical Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee.
As the Fall semester is underway, 15 students will be taking part of the program, adding more teachers to the classrooms of Manatee County Schools. According to the Department of Education, Florida is in need of teachers in the subjects of Science, Language Arts, English as a second language, Special Education, and Math.
“Our students would be prepared to as an elementary school teacher to teach all subjects,” said Byrd.
They hope to continue this program in years to come.
“That’s our hope, so we can meet the needs of Manatee County,” said Marasco.
Those in charge of this program say they hope to have a similar agreement with district leaders in Sarasota in the future.