How the national teacher shortage is impacting NCWV

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 8:00 PM EDT
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BUCKHANNON, W.Va (WDTV) - School districts nationwide are facing a shortage of teachers.... a problem made worse by the pandemic.

According to a recent survey that looked at over 1,000 school districts...a record two in three reported a teacher shortage.

“Absolutely, there’s a teacher shortage,” said Upshur County Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus.

She says she needs 12 certified teachers.

“When we think about, ‘well, maybe it doesn’t sound like a lot to have 12 positions that we had to staff with substitute teachers’ but those are 12 classrooms without a teacher, a certified teacher to build those relationships and really make learning meaningful.”

As far as how to fix the problem, Dr. Lewis-stankus serves on a state committee and says the state is looking at ways to provide alternative certification to those with a four-year bachelor’s degree.

“And they have a four-year bachelor’s in anything, it doesn’t matter the area, then they can become certified as a teacher,” Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus

It’s a time Dr. Sara Lewis-Stankus says where political decision-makers should elevate the teaching profession by improving their salaries.

Right now in Upshur County, salaries range from$34,000 to $40,000 depending on experience and education level.

“No one in our society that I can think of no profession is more important than those who work with our children.”

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