Friday, September 25, 2009


Pre Employment Test in Florida County Could Include Drug Screening

Drug testing is often a part of the pre employment test process for many employees, and teachers are no exception.

Most recently, school board members in Manatee County, Fla., have been considering amending employment policies to require all applicants to pass a drug screening test. Teachers and substitute teachers would be included in the new policy.

Drug tests are not currently part of the pre employment test requirement for the school district. However, the district has the ability to send any employee to be tested if they appear to be impaired at any time.

Student athletes are among those in the district who are randomly tested. Officials say the process serves as a deterrent and gives students a reason to say no to drugs. Those in favor of the new policy don't think school employees should be treated any differently. However, district officials say they haven't had any incidents to prompt the change.

As a state, Florida allows each county to decide whether or not school districts will drug test employees. Other counties in the state, including Orange and Sarasota counties, have already enforced the policy.

"We drug test all new employees, including substitutes," Scott Ferguson, Sarasota School District spokesman, told the Bradenton Herald, adding that students working part time for the district are exempt from the policy.

If the School District of Manatee County passes the policy, current employees would not be tested for drug use, and the district would pay the bill for any new hires needing to be tested.

"But you can’t put a price tag on being sure we have a drug-free work environment,” School Board member Harry Kinnan said.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


Houston Teaching Jobs

Although the area has a lot to offer, there are plenty of opportunities for those looking for Houston teaching jobs.

The education industry as a whole is currently considered one of the best to get into and is often considered to be recession-proof. As there will always be students and people wanting and willing to learn, there will always be a need for educators.

During July, the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown area's education and health services industry employed 291,700 workers, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is up from 291,600 workers during June and a 1.8 percent increase from last year.

The Houston area has a lot to offer when it comes to both primary and secondary education. There are currently 17 school districts serving the city. Among them is the Houston Independent School District, which is the seventh-largest in the country. HISD alone has 112 campuses that serve as magnet or vanguard schools, which specialize in disciplines such as health professions, visual and performing arts and sciences.

The Houston area also has many charter schools that are run separately from school districts. Some public school districts also have their own charter schools. In addition, the area is home to more than 300 private schools, many of which are recognized by the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission.

The Houston Area Independent Schools offer education from a variety of different religious and secular viewpoints. The Houston area Catholic schools are operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

When it comes to secondary education, the Houston area is home to more than 60 colleges and universities, with a total of about 360,000 students. The area's four public universities focus mainly on research and development.

The University of Houston is Texas's third-largest public research university with more than 36,000 students from 130 countries. The school offers more than 300 degree programs and contains 40 research centers, making it the flagship institution of the University of Houston System and one of the most ethnically diverse research universities in the nation.

Other public universities include UH-Clear Luke, an upper-level university with 89 degree programs and 7,700 students; UH-Downtown, an open admissions four-year university offering 46 degree programs with 12,300 students; and Texas Southern University, a historically black four-year university with a pharmacy program and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.

Houston also is home to many private colleges and universities, which range in nature from liberal arts to research. In addition, there are three community colleges in the Houston Community College System.



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