palm beach county school district

More Than 1,000 Palm Beach County Teachers Unqualified For Assignment

Boca Raton Delray Beach Florida News Palm Beach County Schools
palm beach county school district

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

UPDATE AT 3:55 PM: Corrected link for combined Out of Field and Out of Compliance list, and comment from school district.

BOCA RATON, FL ( — The Palm Beach County School District is apparently in such a dire staffing situation that more than 1,000 teachers are assigned to classes that they are not qualified to teach. The “out of field” assignment list, obtained by, reveals that school administrators are routinely using teachers to fill staffing vacancies in areas other than what they are trained or certified. While it is unclear if this is a direct result of COVID-19, the “out of field” and “out of compliance” lists appears to be significantly longer than lists generated in previous years.

The 44-page list reveals every teacher teaching “out of field” in the Palm Beach County School District. “Out Of Field” may mean a teacher is assigned to teach a gifted or special education class even if that teacher does not hold gifted or special education certification. The Florida Department of Education requires a school board to confirm that there are no “qualified” teachers to assign to a specific class before using an “out of field” instructor.

The teachers have done nothing wrong. They are assigned specific classrooms and teaching situations by administrators. The school district is in a massive substitute teacher hiring drive as staffing continues to be a serious issue as a result of COVID-19.

“Under rule 6A-1.0503, F.A.C., a district may only hire an out-of-field teacher who has been approved by the school board or charter school governing board to teach out-of- field after determination that a teacher with appropriate certification coverage is not available,” writes the Florida Department of Education.

Here is additional information and comment provided from the school district late Friday:

 In relation to the chart, the number of Out-of-Compliance/ ESOL teachers is not a clerical error. 
–  While the percentage of Out of compliance teachers is one percent higher this year, the Out of Field was lower this year (from 12.49% to 10.41%) from last.- Every ELA and reading teacher is required to carry an ESOL endorsement or ESOL K-12 certification if they teach an active ESOL student, as per the Consent Decree of 1990 and subsequent modifications to the Consent Decree in 2003. – Being Out-of-Compliance and/or Out-of-Field does not mean that they are unfit to teach their subject, but is typically based on their certifications not matching the State Course Code Directory. -Reiterating, what the District is seeing this year is typical for any school year and in fact, better this year despite the many challenges the District faces. 

The district also provided charts late in the day — we thank them for their assistance.

PBSD is publishing the entire list below. We note that while every single teacher is listed as being assigned to an ESOL or “English For Speakers of Other Languages” class, it is untrue and appears to be a clerical error. Many of these teachers are assigned to gifted, special education and other “out of field” assignments that have nothing to do with “English For Speakers of Other Languages.”

(Depending on your device, either hover over the bottom of the PDF for arrows to scroll through the pages, or click on the PDF itself).

Please use this link to obtain the combined list direct from the School Board. Here is a link for the stand-alone out of compliance list.

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5 thoughts on “More Than 1,000 Palm Beach County Teachers Unqualified For Assignment

  1. Oh wow, the author should be ashamed of himself. These “qualifications” mean nothing. Get the facts straight before bashing teachers.

    Ed. Note: If you think this article “bashes” teachers, you should reread it. You should also follow every story that has reported supporting teachers over the past 8 months. No one truly thinks that teachers assign themselves to classrooms.

  2. This probably does not include even more positions where principals are using non-educator staff to fill positions.

  3. One of the first few out of field teachers listed taught me in 4th grade and I graduated 20 years ago. He may not have the certification, but he sure is qualified. He was an amazing teacher.

  4. Also in all states, the Bd. of Ed hires teachers who can barely be understood when they speak English as they are from foreign countries. In NYC many are assigned to teach English in high schools although they can barely be understood. In the past , all teachers had to pass a speech test. I was a teacher for 26 years so I am aware o this. In the past you were not allowed to be a teacher of any subject if you had a lisp or a foreign accent. Can you imagine that a teacher who cannot be understood is teaching Americans how to speak English??

  5. My wife is a teacher and considered Out-of-Compliance because the State of Florida Department of Education refuses to give her the certification even though she was certified in a state with higher requirements and with 6 years of experience. The State DoE is extremely slow to act and Florida has made it known that it does not care about education. Counties have had to make up for the failure of the state.