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Miami-Dade, Broward schools hiring more teachers

Miami-Dade, Broward schools hiring more teachers
Miami-Dade, Broward schools hiring more teachers 02:55

MIAMI - As hundreds of thousands of students prepare to return to classes next week, Miami-Dade and Broward Public schools are hiring more teachers.

New figures obtained by CBS4's Peter D'Oench from Miami-Dade schools show that they have 17,385 teachers for this school years and there are 224 openings. The school system has hired 550 new teachers.

A spokeswoman for Broward Public schools says there are about 15,000 teachers on staff for the upcoming school year and 221 teacher openings, which is down dramatically from the same time last year when there were 409 teacher openings.

Teachers return to work tomorrow in Broward and students return to classes on August 16th. Miami-Dade students return to class on August 17th.

Dr. Jose Dotres, Supt. Of Miami-Dade schools, told new teacher at an orientation session at Hialeah Gardens High School, "Our message to new teachers is thank you for joining this incredible profession. They are going to make an impact on the lives of students and be able to connect with them and inspire them to be the best they can be. We do need more teachers in mathematics, science and special education."

Christina Delgado had been a teacher for 15 years and then left the profession to take care of her children and is going to teach this year at Tropical Elementary School.

She said, "I love working with kids and I want to set a good example for my own kids. I have wanted to be a teacher every since I was little. I knew this was my calling."

Eduardo Garcia-Rubio had worked in the television industry for 20 years.

"I am looking forward to teaching the children," he said. "We do definitely need more teachers, not just in television but engineering and science."

In Plantation, Kathleen Gauvin told D'Oench that she had left the teaching profession after 27 years and had finished her career at South Plantation High School. She had spent 23 years in Rhode Island as a teacher.

"The bottom line is money," she said. "At the end of the day you need to be able to love down here and you simply can not afford to live here on a teacher's salary. It is just impossible."

The National Education Association recently said the average salary for a Florida public school teacher in 2020-2021 was $51,009 - 48th in the nation.

Gauvin said, "The amount of work expected of you from computer work to attendance to classroom management to threat assessment and bomb threats and active shooters, the pay is not enough for what is expected of you.

Julia Kasper is college and career advisor at South Plantation High School and has been a teacher since 1987.

She said, "We have to have equal pay. The females are dominant in our field. BSO has much higher pay with police officers and we need to have much higher pay. People are also leaving because they can get much cheaper insurance elsewhere. The housing costs are astronomical and the district needs to combat that. We should also have combat pay for educators. We are on the front line and we need that because of what is going on at school and our safety concerns."

Kasper had another idea.

She said, "We need to recruit teachers from every high school and let's give them an incentive to go to college and get a major education. Let's hit those universities and give them an incentive to return and become educators in our district."

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