TEACHER SHORTAGE REACHING CRITICAL LEVELS IN MOUNTAIN STATE – Calhoun Schools Have One Vacancy

Teacher shortages are happening across the state, according to Dale Lee, WV Education Association president, saying the teacher shortage is linked to lower paid teachers in the Mountain State.

“We have a crisis in West Virginia. It’s simply that we don’t pay our teachers competitive salaries,” he said.

Shortages are particularly critical with STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math.

Raleigh County schools started the school year with 50 teacher vacancies and other counties still have faculty positions unfilled.

Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Tim Woodward says Calhoun has only one vacancy, but had about ten at the the end of school this year.

There are vacancies for principal jobs at Arnoldsburg and Calhoun Middle-High School, but they are expected to be filled before September.

Retirements of longtime teachers in West Virginia has exacerbated the teacher shortage.

Fayette County has been facing filling 40 teacher slots.

Lee said there aren’t enough new teaching graduates to fill those spots. “Our colleges are reporting fewer and fewer students are going into education programs.”

A program adopted by the WV Board of Education which allows individuals with non-teaching degrees to fill the slots is being used, with Superintendent Woodward saying no such individuals applied under the alternative certification rule in Calhoun.