Officials discuss possibility of pay incentive to help increase teacher skills

By  | 

West Virginia school officials are working to fill multiple positions as the state struggles with shortages. More than 25 special education positions are open as well as 31 mathematics jobs listed on the West Virginia Department of Education's website.

To help combat the shortage, and the state's under performance in math, WV State Schools Superintendent Dr. Steven Paine says the possibility of a bonus for teachers willing to get certified in math is in the works.

"West Virginia students can learn math as well as students anywhere," said Dr. Paine in a statement to 5 News. "We must consider innovative ways to increase student achievement and I am open to any idea to do just that. This could include incentives for teachers willing to enhance their math knowledge and credentials."

Resident Mike Moore, whose daughter is an elementary school teacher, is all for creating the bonus to help certify more math teachers.

"I just read an article about the shortages in WV, particularly in math," said Moore. "And I certainly think that'd be a good way to incentivize teachers. I'd be totally in favor of it."

On a local level, Doddridge County Superintendent Adam Cheeseman says this bonus possibility is 'on the right track' and would be good for educators.

"If you look at math scores across the state right now they are low," said Superintendent Cheeseman. "And I think the state has acknowledged that and are willing to put resources towards correcting that."

Superintendent Cheeseman says they have been lucky in their recruiting and retaining of teachers thanks to a benefits package and 10% raise implemented a few years ago.

"There is dental and vision insurance that is above PEIA. We do a sick leave incentive. We're able to do a holiday type of supplement during the seasons too."