PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — St. Lucie Public Schools is looking to hire dozens of teachers before students return to campus on Aug. 10.
"I think all districts across the nation are experiencing some difficulty and challenge in filling positions," said Rafael Sanchez, Executive Director of Human Resources at SLPS.
On July 19, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., applicants can visit the district office at 9461 Brandywine Lane in Port St. Lucie to meet with principals from each school.
Sanchez said there are currently 62 teacher openings as well as other various support staff positions.
"This is actually our third job fair this summer," said Sanchez. "We had one in June, one in May, and we have one right now coming up in July."
Last year, SLPS retained 96% of its teachers.
Sanchez said normally, the retention rate is in the high eighties or low nineties.
Salaries for first-year teachers now start at $44,600.
"I won't say it doesn't have any impact but remember one of the problems with that is it compressed 13 years of experience in our county," said David Freeland, president at Education Association of St Lucie.
Freeland said many teachers are looking forward to returning to traditional learning this fall.
The decision to rid virtual learning was made in April by Superintendent Wayne Gent.
"We're back in a safer situation," said Freeland. "Many of our teachers and educators have been vaccinated."
Sanchez said district officials will be able to assist applicants to obtain their teaching certifications if they do not have them.
"We make sure that they have the resources available to them to do what they need to do to be successful at their jobs," said Sanchez.