Florida County Tries Unconventional Approach to Deal With Massive Teacher Shortage

Students across the country are heading back to school this month, amid a growing crisis to hire and keep qualified teachers. At the start of the last school year, more than 100,000 classrooms were staffed by teachers not fully qualified to teach, equivalent to about one classroom for every public school in the U.S.

Nationally, about 20 to 30 percent of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years. As CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reports, schools in Polk County, Florida, are scrambling to fill vacancies.

The superintendent for Polk County, Jacqueline Byrd, needs every qualified teacher she can get to manage her massive 104,000 student school district. But they’ll be short at least 100 teachers when students return to class Monday.

Read more →