Teacher shortage could be fixed with program

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

When Pearl River County students start to consider a career path out of high school, several options may cross their minds.

No matter the destination, to get there some additional training will be required in one form or another.

Apparently, when these young people are making those decisions, choosing a career in education is not as popular as it was ten years ago.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The superintendent of the Pearl River County School District noted this trend at a recent meeting. He said that there’s been a significant decrease in the number of teaching licenses issued within the state of Mississippi.

In fact, according to a news article published in a nearby publication, that number has dropped by about 7,000 over the past 10 years, to a point where only about 600 licenses were issued last year.

That fact creates a situation where school districts are faced with a teacher shortage. To make matters worse, more and more students are being enrolled in local school districts.

This puts more strain on the current teaching population, meaning classroom sizes may have to be increased.

When more students are put in a classroom, teachers have less time to provide adequate instruction to those falling behind.

Teaching is a calling for those who love the work, but they won’t get rich, making it a choice for only the most dedicated.

Hopefully a new program proposed by the superintendent will help fill the empty teaching positions.

Under the program, young people interested in a teaching career can receive a four-year degree by attending one of two nearby institutions of higher learning.

In exchange for the free tuition the student receives while working towards that degree, they will agree to teach at a local school for a short time; for instance three years.

This sounds like a great program that would certainly entice more people to seek a career in a worthwhile and fulfilling profession.