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Letters to the Editors

Bureaucracy robs schools of quality teaching recruits

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 4, 2001

Editor: As an early retiree and newcomer to Citrus County, I decided to apply as a substitute in the county's school system. Having read about shortages since I arrived here, I thought it to be a good investment in my time that also might benefit the educational efforts for our children. So, I set about to apply.

At the personnel office I was handed an application by a very courteous receptionist andtold to get my Social Security card, undertake a drug test at my expense and get on a waiting list. I inquired if I could get an interview to discuss need and my qualifications. I was told "no," just go to a class for substitutes and they would call me when they need me. A gentleman who overheard said not to hold my breath until I was called, as he waits by the month to get called.

I bring this up because I read the word "recruiting" in the effort to diminish the shortage problem. This is not recruiting; it is following a quite bureaucratic process that results in failure to really attract good people. I politely related this to the receptionist, and her reply was "I know, but what can I do?" That was my departing point; as I left I trashed the application. I believe they badly need a class on "recruiting."
-- Ken LaPorte, Crystal River

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