State must halt decline in teacher workforce

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — When talk turns to the public education system, so much attention is paid to Common Core, standardized tests and new and improved buildings.

But at the core of any great education is a dedicated workforce of teachers, administrators and service personnel who put educating children first and foremost.

Unfortunately, that workforce, especially classroom teachers, continues to decline in West Virginia as baby boomers retire, some move into more lucrative careers, and younger people choose other careers they view as more desirable.

During a recent roundtable discussion held by U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., at Liberty High School, about 30 student leaders from Harrison County were asked if they were considering becoming teachers. Only one or two showed much interest.

One spoke about her sister’s experience at an area college, where she had started in the teacher education program. The student said her sister felt discouraged by college staff to continue in education because of the high demands, low pay and other aspects of the job…

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