West Virginia schools struggling with teacher shortages

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:36 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - The West Virginia department of education reported about 1,200 teacher vacancies in 2021.

This year, the number is expected to be 1,500.

This shortage is impacting everything from SROs to sports referees, but one specific area is being hit the hardest.

“So as of the close of business day yesterday, we had 27 vacancies,” said Donna Hage, Marion County Schools superintendent. “Half of them, nearly half of them are special education.”

“We do anticipate that we’ll open school with having vacancies as we have for the last several years, and they are primarily going to be, with maybe one or two exceptions, in special education classrooms,” said Eddie Campbell, Monongalia County Schools superintendent.

Campbell said this is not a new issue.

He thinks a solution could be introducing students to the idea of being teachers while they are still in school.

“I think we actually really need to work down into our high schools and even lower than that to begin to introduce people to the field of education as a whole,” Campbell said.

The state is introducing a new pilot program to allow high school students to take their first steps toward an education degree

“This initiative targets high school students in 31 counties, and it allows them to fast track into the profession by providing support, both financial and through mentor and coaching,” said Carla Warren, West Virginia Department of Education member.

West Virginia educators are preparing on how to handle these vacancies for the upcoming school year.

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