Sunday, July 22, 2001

Certified teachers in short supply

        Educators have little choice but to devise creative ways to attract teachers.

        They want to ensure that students walk into school this fall with as many full-time teachers as possible.

        Last school year, the state of Kentucky was forced to emergency-certify 1,394 teachers. That's up from 928 in 1999-2000 and 503 in 1998-99.

        Emergency certificates are granted to people who do not have a teaching certificate but have earned a bachelor's degree and are willing to teach for a year in an area of need, such as math or science.

        In Ohio, districts are sometimes forced to place long-term substitutes in the classroom. In 1999-2000, 2.5 percent of the state's high school courses were not taught by certified teachers. In Cincinnati Public Schools, that number was nearly 8 percent, according to state officials.

        In 1999, the number of first-year college students planning teaching careers was 7.9 percent. That is down from more than 20 percent in the early 1970s, according to the American Federation of Teachers.

        The average starting salary for all 1999 college graduates exceeded $37,000, while those who went into teaching averaged just $26,639.


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- Certified teachers in short supply
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