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Conference at UVA Looks for Solutions to State's Teacher Shortage

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Conference hosted at the UVA Curry School of Education Conference hosted at the UVA Curry School of Education
UVA Curry School of Education Dean Bob Pianta UVA Curry School of Education Dean Bob Pianta
25th District Delegate R. Steve Landes at the UVA Curry School of Education 25th District Delegate R. Steve Landes at the UVA Curry School of Education
Conference hosted at the UVA Curry School of Education Conference hosted at the UVA Curry School of Education
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

One of the biggest problems facing public education in the commonwealth is taking center stage at the University of Virginia.

The state is currently on track to have 1,000 classrooms unfilled this year. Sixty-six school divisions agreed that Virginia has to figure out how to get educators into those classrooms, and keep them there.

The UVA Curry School of Education hosted over 100 professionals and policy makers Tuesday, October 24. The hope of the conference is to get everyone on the same page and come up with possible solutions to address the shortage of teachers.

One of the issues is teacher salaries.

“So I think what we're looking for are solutions that incent [sic] and create opportunities for students that are interested in becoming teachers to go into the profession and stay in the profession,” said UVA Curry School of Education Dean Bob Pianta.

Another big problem for retaining educators has to do with the amount of time the state gives them to get their teaching license. Right now, they only have three years to reach that goal. Some educators believe the commonwealth should give them a longer period of time so they stay in the profession.

25th District Delegate R. Steve Landes (R) chairs the House Education Committee, and was a featured panelist at Tuesday’s conference. The delegate said his hope is to take some ideas learned at the event back to his colleagues in the General Assembly for possible legislation next year.