Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

W.VA. SCHOOLS ; Nearly 600 Positions Are without Fully Certified Teachers

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

W.VA. SCHOOLS ; Nearly 600 Positions Are without Fully Certified Teachers

Article excerpt

West Virginia schools reported nearly 600 positions - more than a third of them in special education - filled by educators without full certifications, according to an Oct. 1 count that was finalized this month. Education officials have been discussing a lack of fully certified teachers since at least the beginning of the school year. State Board of Education members heard a presentation Thursday revealing that the Oct. 1 count identified 593.5 positions - including part-time positions - in which teachers were either substitutes or not endorsed to teach the subject they're currently teaching.

According to data from state Department of Education spokeswoman Kristin Anderson, the number was only 249 five school years ago. It rose to 287.5 in 2013-14, then jumped to 425.5 last school year and jumped again this school year.

This school year, special education represents the biggest lack of fully certified teachers, at 231.5 positions. But it was the second biggest category - elementary and early education, at 88.5 vacancies - that State Schools Superintendent Michael Martirano seemed most surprised with. He said there are usually numerous applicants for those positions.

"I'd never thought I'd live to see that day in education, he said.

The other vacancy areas were:

* Math: 64.5 positions

* Administrative support services: 49 positions

* Foreign language: 30 positions

* Other: 26.5* positions

* Science: 26.5 positions

* Reading/reading specialist: 21.5 positions

* English: 21 positions

* Career and technical education: 19 positions

* The arts: 15.5 positions

*Other includes social studies, health, physical education and other subjects.

The report came on the same day the state school board approved changes to its Common Core-based math and English language arts standards, and questions remain about how the Legislature, whose leaders are critical of Common Core, may move ahead anyway with more modifications. …

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