Liz McCormick Published

W.Va. Education Officials Identify 5 Challenges Affecting State Teacher Shortage

Empty classroom, school, classroom, desks

The ongoing teacher shortage in West Virginia was a major subject of the West Virginia Board of Education meeting Wednesday.

The board’s first meeting of the new year focused on identifying teacher recruitment challenges. The state is short about 1,000 certified teachers, according to the West Virginia Department of Education’s Educator Preparation Taskforce (EPT).

The taskforce was formed in 2020 with the specific goal to address the teacher shortage. The EPT reported to board members that there are five specific recruiting challenges in the state.

Those include:

  • Lack of a robust multi-channel marketing campaign
  • Costs associated with teacher preparation and licensure
  • Barriers created by licensure testing and content-hour requirements
  • Beginning teachers lack access to consistently high-quality induction and mentoring programs
  • Lack of a comprehensive, single platform to provide data on teacher preparation, recruitment and retention

Board President Miller Hall said that by identifying these issues, it will help state education officials build a framework to address the problems.

“The work of this taskforce is essential to our efforts in addressing teacher shortages and creating effective measures to keep educators in the profession,” he said.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch added that, “Teacher preparation, recruitment and retention are essential to our state’s economic stability and success. We have begun a process that requires the attention and energy of all stakeholders.”

The taskforce said that while there is a shortage of teachers, classrooms are not without educators, however, there is a significant number of classrooms led by either long-term substitutes or teachers without certification in a specific content area.