Brevard Public Schools struggles with 200 instructional vacancies ahead of new school year

District finalizes increased payments to most employees

VIERA, Fla. – Brevard County’s public school teachers are back at work ahead of another school year, but the district is once again grappling with instructional vacancies — around 200 of them.

“Last school year, there were vacancies that were never filled in the county. This is a problem that shows that people don’t want to work here,” a Brevard County teacher said during public comment at the July 27 school board meeting.

Students return on Thursday, Aug.10.

“We’re welcoming them back,” spokesperson Russ Bruhn said. “You know, it’s been a fast summer in a lot of ways.”

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Bruhn said the good news about vacancies is the district has filled about 300 other openings and added 20 more bus drivers.

This summer, this district raised bus driver pay by $5 an hour.

And starting Aug. 31, thanks to voters approving an increased millage tax last year, the district says most other employees will be making more money too based on experience.

The district said a teacher of 10 years will see make an extra $3,600 over the course of the year and that increase will last for four years.

“Hopefully, that’s going to attract people who want to come in and see a bump in pay,” Bruhn said. “We also want to make sure the work conditions are as best as they can be. That they’re given the tools that they need.”

Brevard County’s teacher’s union agreed the extra money will help close vacancies, but it also said there’s more the district can do.

“It’s going to do great things to retain teachers in this county but it cannot solve all of our ills,” Brevard Federation of Teachers vice president Vanessa Skipper said during the board meeting. “We still have to budget for raises and we still have to budget for regular supplement increases.”

Brevard is not the only county dealing with teacher vacancies. The Florida Department of Education projects there will be 8,888 instructional vacancies statement for the 2023-2024 school year.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.