Lilly Hund (’25) preparing for class by filling out an assignment. (Photo Credit: Mykhia Pursley/Achona Online)
Lilly Hund (’25) preparing for class by filling out an assignment.

Photo Credit: Mykhia Pursley/Achona Online

Public Schools: Teachers and Days Decreasing

September 21, 2022

As the new school year begins to roll into autumn, the main concern for the education system is not having enough educators.

Many speculate on the effects Covid has marked on the public school system, but the teaching shortage has been depleting way before our virtual school years. 

An empty classroom to signify a 4 day school week. (Photo Credit: Mykhia Pursley/Achona Online)

According to the Florida Education Association “there are several reasons for the shortages:

  • Pay, with Florida ranking in the bottom five nationally for teacher salaries and many of our education staff professionals earning poverty wages.
  • Lack of support.
  • Lack of flexibility in instruction and the need to “teach to the test.”
  • Lack of multi-year contracts for teachers, which means that qualified, experienced educators face getting a “pink slip” every year.
  • Overcrowded classrooms.

Too many politicians treat public schools and the people who work in them as punching bags. When the profession is repeatedly attacked; when the contribution teachers make to students and communities goes unrecognized; when bureaucrats who’ve never spent a day in a classroom tell teachers how to do their job — then it becomes difficult to attract and retain dedicated and qualified education professionals.”

Robert Bishop, a current math and science teacher at the Academy of the Holy Names with previous experience as a public school teacher, comments on how the public school system works. “In Public schools, there are a lot of lower SES students that are breadwinners for their families (due to immigration status or family’s personal issues) so this can be beneficial for them to have more time for their jobs. It can alleviate transportation issues as well, but can cause issues if every family member works and they are unable to have someone care for the dependable student on the extra free day.”

When asked the question, “How do you feel that the decrease of teaching staff has affected this possible plan, as well as teachers that are under the requirement of teaching being accepted?”, Bishop states, “It is just like any professional field dealing with the labor shortage: they are trying to find people to teach. I think a four-day work week can be enticing to some, but to the topic, it could attract those who take advantage of those who do not have a degree in teaching, which won’t benefit the students. I think they are just trying to find something that works, the best way that they can.” 

As public schools are dependent on the government, the current solution for this concern is admitting teachers who do not meet the previous requirements and a possible four-day week.

Considering who you are in this situation you may take this mindset as a positive or negative. Senior Amber Torres, who transferred from Plant High School to AHN, says, “I think public school having only a 4-day school week would be perfect. It would allow students to take the necessary brain break after a long hard 4 days of school.”

Data infographic of America’s education system that uses a four-day school week. (Photo Credit: National Conference of State Legislatures)

As the 4-day week is still in progress of being approved or denied, many parents are worried about possible changes in their schedule while many students and teachers may see it as a benefit to their lifestyles. Though one day difference doesn’t seem like a difference, it is one less of  day for planning, learning, and teaching. 

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