Staff Shortages in Public Schools, HUD Flood Prone Homes and Surfside Update

Public schools face staffing shortages in South Florida as the return of children to class coincides with a wave of coronavirus.

The debate on masks for students continues. And now staff shortages are affecting everything from transportation to dining rooms.

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The Palm Beach Post reported the first week of class in one district this year there was a shortage of teachers and substitute teachers. In an effort to retain substitute teachers and bus drivers, districts are increasing salaries.

Sonja Isger covers education for the Palm Beach Post and says there are several things that have led to this shortage.

“I think the first thing we need to remember is that in this pandemic we are seeing staff shortages that are happening across all industries. And then, on top of that, I think mostly in Florida, what you saw was heightened concern about the health issues brought on by the more contagious delta variant and the prospect of returning to classrooms this fall for the first time. times that were fully populated by students, ”Isger said.“ This is the first time that every student has been asked to return to class, so I think health issues were probably the key to the increase in numbers. and shortages. “

Scott Travis covers education for the Sun Sentinel and said bus shortages are also major issues in our area, noting that school districts have had to double routes for many drivers.

“It’s been a real mess this year, especially in the first few weeks of the school year,” Travis said. “They had kids that sometimes waited hours for the buses, and then they walked to their bus stop, then the bus driver wouldn’t be there at the normal time. And then they end up being an hour too late for it. school or they don’t come home until seven at night.

NPR HUD Survey

a NPR survey found that the Federal Housing Department disproportionately sells homes to people in flood-prone areas, many of whom were unaware they were buying these properties in flood-prone areas.

While buying a home in a flood-prone area may seem unappealing to some, Roger Pardo, a registered brokerage firm to sell homes with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, told WLRN the homes were selling for enough. quickly.

“A lot of the time, we already have 10 clients here and their agent tells us that I already have an offer that is 20, 30 or 40% higher than the asking price and all in cash,” Pardo said.

WLRN reporters Danny Rivero and Jenny Staletovich examined HUD properties in flood-prone areas in South Florida. Over 230 are located in South Florida.

“So HUD basically guarantees government guaranteed loans, so if you get a loan from [Veterans Affairs], from Fannie Mae, HUD provides insurance to the mortgage company, ”Staletovich said. “If your house is foreclosed, the bank can either sell it or go back to HUD to claim their insurance. And then HUD now owns this property.

Rivero added that there were several reasons NPR wanted to specifically look at HUD homes in flood-prone areas.

“NPR was interested in this because it’s not a much talked about or heavily publicized program, but there are thousands and tens of thousands, in fact, of homes across the country. countries that are part of it, ”Rivero said.

Update on the south building of the Champlain towers in Surfside

It has been almost three months since the partial collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside.

TO municipal commission meeting this week, dozens of people came to urge leaders to consider moving the city’s community center to where the collapsed condominium was located – or keeping the center where it is now. There is also opposition to the proposal.

Commissioners said they opposed moving the community center out of the heart of the city. Some have suggested getting state or federal governments to buy the property and then build a memorial there. And the mayor believes the plan will not go forward without a referendum, which seems unlikely.

The commission and residents are exploring alternative locations to build a memorial for the 98 people who lost their lives in June.

WLRN’s Veronica Zaragovia joined the program to discuss the uncertain future of the Champlain Towers South Condo collapse site.

“A Surfside resident who had a unit in the South Champlain Tower suggested using a park on 88th Street,” Zaragovia said. “Miami Beach has also offered a park space, but the overwhelming opinion that I hear again and again is the need for a memorial on this land where people have died.”

University of Miami fans saved cat from frightening fall

The furry feline fell but was caught by an American flag held by football fans during the University of Miami home game at Hard Rock Stadium last Saturday.

Isabella Didio is the editor-in-chief of Miami Hurricane, the University of Miami student newspaper.

She was in the stadium, a few blocks away when it happened, and wrote about viral kitten rescue.

“It’s so fair that they saved the cat by using an American flag. And honestly, when they waved the cat, everyone applauded, ”Didio said. “I felt like everyone in the stadium was united and together, so it was quite appropriate.

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