At least one good thing a down economy brings… more qualified teachers to the public schools. Some school systems across the state are being flooded with more educated applicants as out of work Georgians are exploring teaching opportunities.
A couple of years ago Glynn County schools on the coast had a shortage of math and science teachers, but that’s not the case today.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Margie Varnadoe says all those teaching positions have been filled, and the applicants were more qualified than before the recession.
“The candidates for the certified positions have changed. We have a lot of people with engineering degrees for instance through Georgia Tech and aren’t able to find a job, so they’re trying to become math and science teachers especially in the high schools.”
Glynn and other school systems like Richmond and Floyd counties say they’re seeing an influx of highly educated substitute teachers too.
Statewide, schools generally have more applicants than positions to fill, says Kelly Henson with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.
“There are fewer positions in existence because of relaxed class sizes and much less turnover and because we’re not losing educators to private sector, or to retirement.”
Henson says this situation is very temporary and as soon as the economy picks up, he expects qualified teachers will once again be in high demand.