Clay County to hold job fair to combat teacher, staff shortages

Zoey Fields

Clay County District Schools has 75 teacher vacancies for the upcoming 2022-23 school year; with 302 retirements and resignations since July of 2021.

Teacher and staff shortages are statewide issues. The Florida Education Association reported 4,359 advertised teaching jobs and 5,222 open non-instructional positions January 2022, halfway through the academic school year.

Non-instructional positions include teacher aides, Exceptional Student Education (ESE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) paraprofessionals, bus drivers, food-service staff, custodians and other essential employees.

Clay County District Schools is holding an in-person hiring fair Tuesday, July 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Fleming Island High School, 2233 Village Square Parkway, Fleming Island, in an attempt to combat the shortages.

“All schools will be represented at this hiring fair and we will be hiring for instructional and support positions,” Clay County District Schools Public Information Officer Terri Dennis said.

Job seekers will have the opportunity to connect with principals from all 42 Clay County schools. Hiring supervisors are prepared to extend on-site conditional offers of employment to qualified candidates at the job fair, Dennis said.

“This event is a great opportunity for individuals who are interested in starting a career in education or seeking to transfer into Clay County District Schools from another school district,” Superintendent David Broskie said. “We are the largest employer in the county and we pride ourselves on being a people-centric organization that supports our teachers and staff.”

The Florida Education Association (FEA) pinpoints five main reasons for schools not being able to attract and retain teachers and staff – lack of support, lack of flexibility in instruction, lack of multi-year contracts for teachers, overcrowded classrooms and, at the top of the list, pay.

Florida ranks in the bottom five nationally for teacher salaries, with a large portion of state education staff professionals earning poverty wages.

An $800 million increase to the 2022-23 budget was made March 21 to raise minimum teacher pay and increase veteran teacher salaries throughout the state, a Florida Department of Education press release said.

In 2020, the average starting salary for a teacher in Florida was $40,000, ranked 26th in the nation. With the new budget changes, starting salary will be at least $47,000, the DOE reported, ranking ninth in the nation.

“Over the last three years, we have worked hard to increase teacher pay,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “We have invested more than $2 billion in teacher pay, and with rising inflation, this could not come at a better time. This will help Florida to recruit and retain great teachers.”

For more information regarding the job fair and career opportunities, visit the Clay County District Schools website at www.oneclay.net and click the Human Resources icon.

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Clay County District Schools is holding a job fair July 19 with the opportunity for on-the-spot hires; certain conditions apply.Clay County District Schools

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Accredited journalist with experience covering a wide range of stories consisting of breaking news, city and county government, crime and courts, feature stories and local interest. Facebook Bulletin writer, reporter; The Learning Curve. Twitter: @zoeyfields0

Jacksonville, FL
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