Battling the teacher shortage in West Virginia

Not every piece of the controversial “omnibus education bill” has been consigned to File 13 by West Virginia legislators. Fortunately, some aspects of the measure have been revived as separate, freestanding legislation.

One is House Bill 3145, which would pay the college tuition of those studying to earn teaching degrees in mathematics, science and special education — under certain conditions. One of them is that graduates would have to agree to teach those subjects in areas of the state where there are special needs for them, for at least five years. Another is a requirement that students have cumulative grade-point averages of at least 3.25.

It has proved to be exceedingly difficult to attract qualified teachers in those subjects to some areas of our state. HB 3145 could ease that concern by encouraging more aspiring educators to go into shortage fields and areas. Both houses of the Legislature should approve the bill.

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