Upcoming school year facing significant teacher shortage in Collier County

Published: June 20, 2022 10:28 PM EDT

It might feel like school just ended but the search for teachers for the new school year has already begun and Collier County has a significant shortage right now.

More than 150 teachers are needed in Collier County and with just over seven weeks until the new school year, the clock is ticking.

Educators are critical and right now there’s a critical shortage of them.

Collier County School Board Member, Stephanie Lucarelli said, “For teachers, we have about 160 positions available right now.” And that’s just in Collier County.

The Florida Department of Education said English, Science, Reading, and Math are all areas where the state is falling short. All areas where Collier County Public Schools are looking to hire.

Lucarelli said, “There’s a lower level of respect than there used to be for people in education and I think that that is a problem.”

Another part of the problem is fewer graduates are seeking degrees in education. It’s an equation that, if left unchecked, could cause crippling effects.

Equally as concerning in Collier County, essential jobs outside of the classroom.

Lucarelli said, “We are in a bit of a crisis for our non-instructional staff and our bus drivers.”

The school district is posting a video on its website in hopes of hiring.

Executive Director of School and District Operations Tim Kutz said, “You’re the first face they see every morning and usually the last face they see when they get off the bus every day.”

Kutz went on and said, “Collier County Public Schools is always hiring bus drivers, there is always a need for new and additional drivers within the school district.”

Jobs left without a driver in the seat could be devastating.

From teachers to bus drivers, there are so many opportunities available right now.

Click here to go to the employment tab on the district’s website. Right now there are nearly 250 open positions.