Education

Gov. Bush Aims To Keep Teachers

By Jessica L. Sandham — March 14, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print
The State of the States

Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida asked the legislature to approve initiatives designed to recruit and retain teachers in his State of the State address last week. The state’s growing teacher shortage, he warned, threatens to undermine recent academic gains.

In the March 6 speech, the governor touted his package of 20 initiatives designed to keep current teachers in the classroom and attract new people to the profession. Mr. Bush’s plan includes a $50 million program to offer $1,000 “signing bonuses” to new teachers, a $50 million fund to enhance districts’ efforts to retain teachers, and a proposal to accelerate the timetable for starting a program with alternative routes to teacher certification.

In all, the governor is proposing to spend $169 million for such programs.

“Our growing student population has created an unprecedented demand for teachers in this state,” Gov. Bush told the state lawmakers. “We must begin a 10-year project to recruit and retain 160,000 teachers to meet the projected demand.”

But some critics contend that the governor’s continued focus on education is undercut by the fact that he is proposing a $241 million reduction in a tax on stocks, bonds, and various other investments. Mr. Bush helped shepherd through more than $1.5 billion in tax cuts during the past two legislative sessions.

“If I look at a budget that gives tax breaks to the already-wealthiest Floridians, it betrays all the other rhetoric about moving our school system forward,” said David Clark, a spokesman for the Florida Education Association, an organization formed by the merger of the state affiliates of the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

“The rhetoric is wonderful, but the budget betrays it,” he maintained.

Last week’s address kicked off a legislative session in which lawmakers will no doubt attempt to address the teacher crunch, observers said. The Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research, a research arm of the legislature, recently reported that the state will need some 160,000 new teachers over the next 10 years, with only 60 percent coming from the state’s colleges and universities.

This week, a task force on teacher recruitment and retention assembled by the Florida School Boards Association was scheduled to present a series of recommendations to legislators. Wayne Blanton, the executive director of the association, said that while the governor’s recommendations were “a good start,” the task force would likely expand on them, particularly in the area of teacher retention.

The task force is aiming to encourage private-sector teaching incentives, such as lower interest rates for teachers who buy homes, and a “career ladder” program that would reward teachers with bonuses based on the number of years they’ve stayed in the classroom, Mr. Blanton said.

“No matter how you look at it, we’re coming up 3,000 teachers short throughout the state every year,” Mr. Blanton said. “That problem just compounds over time. We have to do a better job of retaining teachers.”

A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 2001 edition of Education Week as Gov. Bush Aims To Keep Teachers

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar How Pandemic Tech Is (and Is Not) Transforming K-12 Schools
The COVID-19 pandemic—and the resulting rise in virtual learning and big investments in digital learning tools— helped educators propel their technology skills to the next level. Teachers have become more adept at using learning management
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Building Teacher Capacity for Social-Emotional Learning
Set goals that support adult well-being and social-emotional learning: register today!


Content provided by Panorama
Jobs October 2021 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Tiny Wrists in Cuffs: How Police Use Force Against Children
An investigation finds children as young as 6 and a disproportionate amount of Black children have been handled forcibly by police officers.
15 min read
Jhaimarion, 10, reacts as he listens to his mother, Krystal Archie talking with an Associated Press reporter in Chicago on Sept. 23, 2021. Archie’s three children were present when police, on two occasions, just 11 weeks apart, kicked open her front door and tore through their home searching for drug suspects. She’d never heard of the people they were hunting. Her oldest child, Savannah was 14 at the time; her youngest, Jhaimarion, was seven. They were ordered to get down on the floor.
Jhaimarion, 10, reacts as he listens to his mother, Krystal Archie talking with an Associated Press reporter in Chicago on Sept. 23, 2021. Archie’s three children were present when police, on two occasions, just 11 weeks apart, kicked open her front door and tore through their home searching for drug suspects. She’d never heard of the people they were hunting. Her oldest child, Savannah was 14 at the time; her youngest, Jhaimarion, was seven. They were ordered to get down on the floor.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
Education Gunman in 2018 Parkland School Massacre Pleads Guilty
A jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz will be executed for one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings.
3 min read
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Annika Dworet and her husband, Mitch Dworet, wipe away tears as their son's name is read aloud during Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz's guilty plea on all 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder in the 2018 shootings, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The Dworet's son, Nicholas Dworet, 17, was killed in the massacre.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP
Education Briefly Stated: October 20, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Gunman in Parkland School Massacre to Plead Guilty
The gunman who killed 14 students and three staff members at a Florida high school will plead guilty to their murders, his attorneys said.
4 min read
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz is sworn in before pleading guilty, Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on all four criminal counts stemming from his attack on a Broward County jail guard in November 2018, Cruz's lawyers said Friday that he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school.
Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel via AP