WVBE/WVDE

February 12, 2016 — Volume 36 Issue 5

WVBE / WVDE News

The West Virginia Board of Education adopted a resolution Thursday to recognize the teacher shortage and related difficulties school districts face in attracting and retaining qualified teachers.

In adopting the resolution, board members acknowledged that teachers are a highly valued resource and suggested the state should increase teacher salaries. In addition, the board offered to work cooperatively with other branches of government to address teacher shortages and recommended the creation of a task force to consider issues of salary, benefits and general issues that affect the shortage of teachers throughout the state.

The resolution gives details of the magnitude of teacher shortages, which have almost tripled throughout the last four years from 271.5 positions in 2012-2013 to 593.5 positions in 2014-2015 filled with non-fully certified teachers. The resolution points to current salaries and the rising cost of benefits as a critical difficulty for attracting and retaining qualified teachers. West Virginia ranks 46th for teacher salaries in the United States. 

State board President Mike Green said the single most critical component of a child’s education is an effective teacher who puts students at the center of their work each day.

“All students in West Virginia deserve a world-class education,” Green said. “That education begins with compassionate and qualified teachers. We must do everything possible to recruit and retain a highly effective workforce in order to improve student achievement.”  

For additional information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.