Many West Virginia teachers not licensed in subjects they’re teaching

By Greg Collard 

Last year, about 10 percent of West Virginia’s teaching positions were filled by people who weren’t licensed in the subjects they taught. State Schools Superintendent Steve Payne says there are significant teacher shortages in math, science, foreign languages and even high school English courses. It’s especially difficult to find licensed chemistry teachers. 

The state school board voted Tuesday to form a task force to suggest how to fix the problem. Payne will lead the group. He expects the group to come up with recommendations before the Legislature meets in January. Payne says that teacher retirements have exacerbated the problem. He says the number of retirements tripled at the end of the 2006-07 school year.

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