CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) When it comes to getting an education, having quality educators in the classroom is key. But right now in West Virginia there aren’t enough teachers. The WV Department of Education estimates a shortage of 1,000 teachers statewide.

Educators are working together to talk about ways to address the teacher shortage in the Mountain State.

West Virginia was one of eight states chosen to participate in a program from the Milken Family Foundation. The goal is to put great minds together to come up with solutions. Rock Cave Elementary Principal Brian Allman says the team identified several factors that could be leading to the problem.

“You have to feel respected as a profession. You also have to look at cost of living and factors like that. But then absolutely it is a tough job and no one that has been in education for any amount of time is going to tell you that it is easy. It has to be your passion and you have to really truly want to make a difference in the lives of kids,” Allman said.

The West Virginia Department of Education has identified five challenges when it comes to getting enough teachers into classrooms. Among them, the costs associated with teacher preparation and licensure and barriers created by licensure testing and content hour requirements.