Teacher resignations surge in Central Florida as teachers struggle to make a living

Teacher resignations surge in Central Florida as teachers struggle to make a living

Orlando, Florida. Real estate agent Bryant Doricott is selling homes so he can buy his own. It’s a dream he said wasn’t possible when he was a public school teacher.

“I was a teacher in Brevard County Public Schools for ten years,” Doricott said. “Loved it. I’m sure of it. Teaching is great. Being in front of the kids and being on stage, every day is great. All the extra things make it difficult.”

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For Doricott, this included things like 12 hours a day for eight hours of pay, unrealistic goals, health and epidemic concerns, and low wages.

“This was a huge reason for my decision to change my profession. Your earning ability, being a teacher is limited. I mean, it is. Now I am in a profession where my earning ability is first and foremost.”

News 6 found that Dorricott is not alone. Teacher resignations are on the rise in our local public school districts, and numbers we’ve found are publicly displayed on many local school boards’ agendas or received from the district’s human resources department.

Brevard County Public SchoolsAccording to school board agenda data provided by the Brevard Teachers Union, 825 teachers reported quitting last year (2020-2021), a figure that is 28% more than 644 teachers who quit the previous year (2019-2020).

in a Seminole CountyThe Public School District confirmed the resignations of 676 teachers last year (2020-2021), up 15% from 588 teachers who resigned the previous year (2019-2020).

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Lake County Public Schools It saw a three percent increase in resignations last year (2020-2021) compared to the previous year (2019-2020), according to school board agendas reviewed by the Lake District Education Association.

according to Osceola County Public Schools“Human Resources Department, 103 teachers quit in the first 14 weeks of school last year (2020-2021), an increase of 24% from 83 teachers who quit during the same time frame in the previous year (2019-2020).

As for the largest area in Central Florida, Orange County Public Schools They saw a 32% increase in teacher resignations when 1,536 teachers quit in 2020-2021 compared to 1,168 teachers who quit the previous year (2019-2020), according to data provided by the district’s human resources department.

“I am not at all surprised,” said Wendy Dorumal, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association. 82% do not trust or believe in district leaders or the school board. They feel disrespected. It was a terrible year last year, and they say this year is even worse. They quit over salary because they don’t feel valued. They don’t want to work until 11 a.m. every night or have to give up one day on the weekend to keep up with their homework.”

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In a statement to News 6, when it comes to increasing resignations, a Brevard County Public Schools spokesperson said, “We are continuing to recruit for all open positions across the region and are always keen to speak with candidates who are passionate about education and for services.”

In an email, the Orange County Public Affairs Office blamed the 32% increase in resignations last year on a decline in resignations during the pandemic and noted that the resignation numbers two years ago closely mirrored the most recent academic year.

“Keep in mind that positions have been added over the years, so the percentage of resignations may have actually gone down,” said a spokesperson for Osceola County Public Schools.

In previous stories, district spokespersons have said vacancies are being filled, but Dorumal said parents should question the quality of these new hires.

“There are permanent branches in school classrooms, meaning he is not a qualified teacher. He is someone who may not have a degree in the subject he is studying. He is not a teacher. (Districts) don’t count those as vacancies, so they kind of deception.”

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And if you ask qualified teachers with ten years of service, like Dorricott, there’s one thing that can fix a lot.

“I think what would be fair and what would have kept me is (salary) somewhere between $55,000 and $60,000,” Doricott told News6 news investigator Merris Badcock. “I think it would have made more sense to me. I would have been able to buy a house in a safe neighborhood. I just think that would at least be a good starting point.”

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