TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - It's no secret that Florida schools have struggled with teacher shortages for years, but a new report from the State Board of Education stated the worst shortages are in some of the most critical subjects like science, math, and English.
"The science and math folks, that's a really critical area because those folks have much more of an ability to find higher paying jobs in the private sector with their backgrounds and degrees," said Michael Gandolfo, the president with the Pinellas Classroom Teacher's Association.
To fill in the gaps, districts across the Bay Area are asking teachers to teach outside their certified fields, and it's having a negative impact.
"You wouldn't want a foot doctor working on your throat, so it makes no sense to ask a social studies teacher or a history teacher to teach a science class," said Gandolfo.
The report identifies schools within districts such as Hillsborough, Manatee, and Pinellas that have received 'D' or 'F' performance ratings. The reports hinted that many lower rated schools are often faced with a higher percentage of out-of-field teachers.
"What we're doing to those kids in those struggling areas, forcing them to do more math and more science and then getting teachers that aren't certified in those areas- that's not helping."
Many area districts told FOX 13 this problem is nothing new.
Gandolfo said in order to improve the education system for students, change needs to happen outside the classroom.
"If you look around the country, they're all complaining about their working conditions which are our students learning conditions, so if we don't start improving the working conditions, we shouldn't be scratching our heads wondering why these teachers are leaving."
School districts across the Bay Area said they are actively working to combat the current teacher shortage in many different ways.
However, they said they all have the same goal of ensuring the best education for their students.