Hundreds of St. Johns, Duval County students don't have permanent teachers

By: Jenna Bourne , Action News Jax

Updated:

More than two weeks into the new school year, hundreds of students in St. Johns and Duval counties still don’t have permanent teachers in their classrooms.

The St. Johns County School District tells Action News Jax students in 25 classrooms have substitute or associate teachers instead.

“We ask for patience. That’s what we ask for, most of all,” said St. Johns County School District Superintendent Tim Forson.

Forson said the district is interviewing and doing background checks on teacher candidates now.

“Although we want to respond quickly, we want to respond right first,” said Forson.

The district has grown by more than 1,600 students this school year.

That’s about a school-and-a-half worth of students.

Although a new elementary school opened this year and two new K-8 schools are set to open next year, Forson said the district will need 20 new schools in the next 10 years -- and teachers to fill them.

“It is a stressor, so I won’t tell you that it’s not a stressor to the organization. It is. But I am confident that we will keep up,” said Forson.

Duval County Public Schools is more than three times larger than St. Johns.

As of Aug. 1, DCPS had 174 teacher and instructional support vacancies.

That’s about half as many as this time last year.

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