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 (BocaNewsNow.com) — 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 BocaNewsNow.com, 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.
BocaNewsNow.com 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).
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