Fayette County Faces Teacher Shortage

FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOAY) – Fayette County is facing a startling shortage of teachers in some of the most crucial fields of teaching.

“Well, we’ve known it was going to happen,” said Jason Crouch, a member of the West Virginia Education Association Executive Committee. “We’ve been telling the legislature for the past five or six years.”

Job listings posted online a couple times a month usually include over 50 teaching positions. Crouch says some fields such as math, science and special education are struggling more than others. As a result, the quality of students’ education suffers.

“If you have an uncertified teacher in a classroom, the quality of education is less than what it’d be with certified teachers,” said social studies teacher Randy Halsey. “That’s a big issue for kids. They’re not getting the learning they need to have, the depth of knowledge they need to have.”

Halsey said students’ test scores are lower without certified teachers, which can affect their college applications.

Crouch and Halsey agree that the key to ending the teacher shortage is a change in how the government and its citizens treat teachers in both their behavior and the benefits given.

“We need to take a hard look at how we treat our teachers in this state,” said Crouch. “We also need to pay better and we need to have more respect for our teachers.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.