Math and science teachers still needed in Pinellas
Everyone knows math and science teachers are hard to come by.
But this year in Pinellas County, human resources officials say, the need has exceeded that of recent memory.
Harriet Konstantinidis, an HR director, said about a third of the hires this summer were math and science teachers. And, still, they're looking for more.
"To have that many is unusual," she said.
To date for the 2010-11 school year, the district has hired 29 math teachers and 38 science teachers at both the middle and high school levels.
And here are a few schools still in need: Fitzgerald Middle, one math teacher; Baypoint Middle, one science teacher; Clearwater High, two math teachers; Boca Ciega High and Seminole High, one math teacher each; Lakewood High, one chemistry/biology teacher.
Konstantinidis and fellow HR director Marilyn Lusher said the reasons for the shortage aren't precisely clear now. They suspect class size mandates, FCAT-driven instructional needs and the simple fact that sometimes hiring needs come and go in cycles. They haven't yet looked at employee retention data to determine if there was a wave of math and science retirees or departures last year.
For now, Lusher said, the schools that still need teachers are more than likely using substitutes or science or math coaches.