The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


September 4, 2013


Education officials have expressed concerns for some time now that the time could come when there are too few teachers to take on the daunting task of educating our children.

The reasons are many — many teachers are reaching retirement, low pay, the challenge of controlling too many students who would rather be any place other than the classroom.

And according to reports, the situation isn’t improving.

A story in the Sunday Gazette-Mail noted that about 1,700 college students graduated in 2012 with an education degree, a decrease of more than 8 percent since 2008.

In contrast, there was a 23 percent increase of graduates with degrees in health-related fields.

The latter statistic is not a bad thing, given the state of the health of so many West Virginians.

But without enough teachers in the coming years, how will any young person make it to college to take on the health challenge?

The state Legislature will have a lot of tough problems on its plate in the coming session. We hope that education and teachers — or the lack thereof — is one of the main dishes.

Ideas have been pushed before about ways to entice more people into teaching. Too many times, the ideas are shot down without being given a chance.

Few would blame a person for not placing themselves in environments that have become much more dangerous than they were back in they day.

Out of control students, some of them in a drug-induced haze, cause issues on a daily basis. Discipline is sometimes watered down because Mommy and Daddy say their baby would never do anything wrong.

Lack of funds is also an issue. Ask how many teachers buy supplies for their classes because there just isn’t the money anywhere else.

The final straw often comes down to the pittance that passes as pay.

Bright, inventive ideas are the only way this situation will be solved. Anyone not willing to help should get out of the way.

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