Need for teachers is growing

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Pearl River County School District is moving forward with establishing a program that will enable local students to receive a bachelor’s degree in order to fill empty teaching positions at local schools.

Superintendent Alan Lumpkin brought the program before the Board of Trustees during Tuesday’s meeting.

He said the program, which has not been named yet, will establish partnerships with William Carey University and Pearl River Community College to provide that training.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The reason for establishing the program is due to a teacher shortage being seen not only in Pearl River County, but across the nation. Lumpkin quoted an article recently published in the Hattiesburg American that states in 2007, the state of Mississippi issued 7,620 teaching licenses. This year, only 603 licenses were issued.

To compound the problem, the Pearl River County School District is experiencing increasing student enrollment each year.

The program will work by funneling students to one of those institutions of higher learning where they will have a bachelor’s in four years. As part of the program the student will receive free tuition in exchange for working at a Pearl River County school for a given time frame, Lumpkin said. He said the program is still in the development stage.

The Board also heard from the District’s Student Body President Doc Herrin, who provided an update of events at each campus to the Board.

He then addressed a problem high school students have noticed, which involves the student parking lot. He asked the Board to consider repainting the parking lot so it would be easier for cars to park. Apparently some of the parking spots are pointing the wrong way, so if the student is directed to enter the parking lot in a certain direction, it’s difficult to park in those spots.

He also asked the Board to consider bringing back jeans and T-shirt days.

After his update, Herrin introduced two of the Middle School’s reading fair winners, eighth grader Olivia Broom and sixth grader Olivia Carroll. Broom was the overall first place winner in the nonfiction category, while Carroll was the overall first place winner in the fiction category.

More on Tuesday’s meeting will be published in Thursday’s Item.