By Joan Murray

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The Broward School District has put out the “help wanted” sign. But the head of the teachers union urged the school board Tuesday to do more to attract and keep instructors.

“We cannot keep having hundreds of people leave the district,” BTU President Anna Fusco told the board.

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Fusco said classrooms are overcrowded and teachers are doing double and triple duty without extra pay.

“If you don’t have a teacher, the classroom gets larger,” she explained. “We are not meeting class size because of a lack of teachers.”

When school started in Broward a month ago, the district was down 365 teachers.

Fusco pointed to a recent list of more than 200 teachers who have either retired or left the district.

COVID has contributed to the exodus, but Fusco said there’s more to it.

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“We are getting beat up by the government, parents, students, and management,” she said, “And we make $47,500 (in salary).”

The district has an ongoing recruitment program. A promotional video on their website highlights current teachers commenting on why they choose to work in Broward.

Up until now, the district’s human resources department has focused on getting teachers in the door over the summer. The superintendent said they are shifting tactics.

“Our reality with COVID is that our strategy has to be yearlong,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Vickie Cartwright.

The effort is not lost on the school board where four members have spent time in the classroom.

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“Stop letting people go so easily. Start directing staff to work to hold people accountable,” Fusco told the board.