Substitutes being offered $165 a day to work positions at critical needs schools in Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Duval County Public Schools is fighting a teacher shortage days from the start of the school year.

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A report by the Florida Department of Education shows of all the school districts in the state, Duval County has the highest number of schools critically short of teachers. The report shows 108 schools, including a handful of charters, are short.

Action News Jax has also learned of a push to bring in substitute teachers at two critically short-staffed schools.

A post on social media from Education Management and Staffing Solution, a service that helps staff DCPS schools, shows substitutes can get $165 dollars a day by filling in at Lake Shore Middle and Charger Academy. The post shows nine openings at Lake Shore and six at Charger. Some of the positions include working with kids who have autism.

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Action News Jax reached out to DCPS Tuesday. Nobody was available for comment, but a spokesperson did mention the board had approved increased compensation for subs back in July.

“Of course you have to fill gaps where they’re needed in the immediate, again, I think we need to focus some of those fundings into paying teachers who are employed more, and offering potential teachers bonuses and things like that, maybe you’ll have more teachers that are wanting to come in to teach,” said Arkeem Sturgis, who pulled his kids out of DCPS and put them in a private school.

Sturgis worries about the teachers at public schools.

“Teachers just don’t get paid enough,” he said. “You go to other countries, and teachers are [as] revered as doctors, as lawyers, as judges. Here in America, we don’t do that.”

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According to the post, substitutes must be willing to work for 20-day periods. If approved, they could start as soon as the next day.

Sturgis feels public school systems could retain and recruit more educators by investing in them.

“You pay teachers more, you’ll probably get a lot better school system, you’ll get a lot happier teachers who are more willing to teach, better school systems, better students, better society, I mean, it just trickles all the way down the line,” he said.

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