Declining demand for teachers in state’s schools? listen03/24/08 Seán Kinane
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Because of state budget cuts and declining student enrollment, some of the largest school districts in Florida are expected to hire fewer teachers this fall than they have in the recent past. This follows years of increased recruitment due to a chronic shortage of teachers in the state.
Andrea Zahn is director of communications for Pinellas County Schools. She says the county expects to hire about 100-200 fewer teachers this fall. Student enrollment is projected to be lower next year in Pinellas County, according to Zahn.
The Hillsborough County Public Schools website says the district's 182,000 students were taught by 15,000 instructional employees in 2006-2007.
Steve Hegarty, communications officer for Hillsborough County Schools, said in the past few years Hillsborough has hired between 1,200 and 1,500 new teachers each fall, but that this year those numbers could drop.
For the first time in many years, Pinellas County will be closing schools in the fall, Andrea Zahn said.
According to its website, Pinellas County Schools employs nearly 9,000 instructional employees this year to teach 106,000 students. Because there are a number of factors that go into the decision of how many teachers are needed, Zahn said the school district doesn’t know yet exactly how many teachers they’ll need to hire.
In the future, student enrollment could bounce back, according to Zahn.