Marion County special education in need of teachers

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Nine special education teachers left their positions in Marion County and the school district is looking for teachers to fill these slots before the start of the school year.

Nine special education teachers left their positions in Marion County and the school district is looking for teachers to fill these slots before the start of the school year.

A shortage of special education teachers has become an issue for schools nationwide. 5 News spoke with Gia Deasy, the administrative assistant of special services for Marion County.

"The special ed crisis has been ongoing, however, it has been exacerbated right now because of now there's a teacher crisis in general. So, like I said, we are looking at major need in the area of math and science and world languages. With less and less teachers going into the field, special ed is hit hard once again," said Deasy.

Marion County experienced major turnover this past summer to pursue positions in other districts, to retire or to move to administrative positions.

Deasy says that the district is working to fill these spots as soon as possible.

"Getting those postings up in a timely manner so we can recruit in a timely manner. That is the main thing we do," said Deasy.

The special education department has done much more than just post the openings. Programs have been put in place to reimburse teachers who want get the certifications to teach special education. The district is also working with local universities to recruit soon-to-be teachers.

"We are spending more time on campus with the teacher training institutes so I have been spending a lot of time at Fairmont State University, offering some seminars, talking to teachers that are in the field or might be interested in the field," said Deasy.

Deasy said that while they hope the positions are filled by the next school year, principals have begun to work on a backup plan.

"We will have certified teachers in most of the positions. The positions that are unfilled will most likely be filled with substitutes who are completing their course work and that will give them an opportunity to finish their degree and then be hired on by us," said Deasy.

These issues are not just relegated to Marion County. Deasy said that many of the other counties throughout West Virginia are experiencing the same problems.