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.