Kentucky initiating campaign to attract more teachers

Kentucky

ASHLAND, Ky. (WOWK) – Teachers are in high-demand in Kentucky, so much so that Department of Education officials are launching a recruitment campaign.

Fairview School District Superintendent Jackie Risden-Smith says they started posting open positions back in may hoping to get ahead of the hiring curve and it worked.

“We need to address it now and I think that’s what the department is doing,” Smith said. “We have one position open right now; we still have a math position open for the 19-20 school year.”

The Kentucky Department of Education says the number of college students pursuing education degrees has declined over a 10-year period. In 2008-09, nearly 8,500 students enrolled in Kentucky college educator preparation programs. By 2016-17, that number dropped by almost half to just over 4,800.

Smith says while there’s not a specific reason Kentucky school districts may have a problem recruiting teachers, she says it could be because it’s costly to the teacher to be a teacher.

“When you look at those advance degrees, they’re not receiving the compensation when you compare that to other career fields,” Smith said.

Current trend data is showing some teachers are leaving after just a few years, but the question remains as to why.

The Department of Education says it’s possible the words “test scores” are running young teachers out of the profession.

“It’s about valuing student growth, student success, student achievement. Test scores are just a number,” Smith said.

Valuing the student over the score, and the teacher by that student’s success. Smith says it will take something “out of the box” to recruit, and keep, teachers in the classroom.

The Kentucky Department of Education told WOWK 13 News they are launching a new recruitment campaign Wednesday called “Go Teach KY!” and it is aimed at getting the next generation of teachers. They will also be working with high schools and colleges to recruit.

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