Florida needs more science teachers: Education agency shows shortfalls in three major science subjects – Florida Phoenix

Teacher with students in elementary school science class. Credit: Getty Images

School districts may struggle to find science teachers in the upcoming year, a Department of Education report shows.

Three different science fields for K-12 education have been identified as areas of “critical teacher shortage” for the 2021-22 school year, the report says. That means Florida is in critical need of general science teachers, physical science teachers and earth & space science teachers.

In fact, general sciences was ranked first out of nine areas expected to face critical teacher shortages in the next academic year. Physical science tied for third in the rankings, while earth & space ranked seventh in the line-up.

Other areas of shortages included reading, math and exceptional student education for students with special needs.

Andrew Spar, president of the Florida Education Association told the Phoenix that one of the main factors for this teaching shortage in science is pay.

“Science and math have always been a harder-to-staff area largely because we don’t pay teachers well,” Spar said. “And if you’re in the field of science and math you can go into the private sector — or even the public sector in other areas — and make significantly more money than you can being a teacher.”

Districts will hire teachers without the regular certifications for the field