Teachers May Have A Tough Time Finding jobs
Just two years ago, school districts in North Central Florida had a surplus of job openings for teachers in public schools. Wednesday's job fair held in Southwest Gainesville proved this year will be different.
For substitute teacher, Gary Foster, his job search for a full time teaching position has gotten a lot harder.
"The districts are feeling the pinch," said Foster.
A pinch from statewide budget cuts that's chopped the number of job openings in North Central Florida's rural counties in half. In 2006, Gilchrist County alone had about 60 job openings. This year, Gilchrist, Bradford, Dixie, and Putnam Counties have about 20 jobs in all.
The job fair drew in more than 300 applicants this year. Many of them were teachers who had been laid off from jobs in other counties because of budget cuts.
"When you're really having to watch every nickel and dime, if all things being equal, you may have to settle for someone who is perhaps a beginning teacher," said Glenn McKendree, Associate Superintendent for Baker County Schools.
That's because new teachers, like Foster, start on a lower salary than those who already have experience.
It's a hard lesson for teachers looking for a classroom to call their own.
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