New campaign and website to recruit teachers amid shortage

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KENTUCKY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Citing both a national and statewide teacher shortage, Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis announced a new campaign and website to recruit.

He wants to inspire the next generation of educators.

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Kentucky Board of Education unveiled the Go Teach KY website and social media accounts.

Applications for the Kentucky Academy for Equity in Teaching (KAET) renewable loan forgiveness program also are being accepted as part of the campaign.

“From 2008 to 2017, the U.S. saw a 27% decrease in completion of education preparation programs; in Kentucky that decrease was 36%. This trend is creating a crisis,” said Lewis. “As schools begin a new year, districts are still clamoring to fill positions. If one child starts school without a qualified teacher in the classroom it’s one child too many. Unfortunately, for another school year, this will be the case for many Kentucky students.”

Officials say the U.S. rates of college completion of educator preparation programs have dropped from 219,230 in 2009-10 to 160,020 in 2016-17. In Kentucky, that number was 3,230 in 2009-10 and 2,073 in 2016-17.

During the meeting, Commissioner Lewis made a direct appeal to the citizens of Kentucky to consider teaching as a first, second or even third career.

“You can positively impact the lives of children and families now and for generations to come. You can inspire Kentucky’s next generation of scientists, healthcare professionals, educators, attorneys, and more,” said Lewis, who started his career in education as a teacher in New Orleans. “What’s missing in Kentucky’s schools? You. Take the next step toward teaching. Kentucky students need you.”

The Go Teach KY website shows the many pathways that an individual can take to become a teacher, starting as early as high school, with the Educators Rising program and Teaching and Learning career pathway. Undecided college students are also a focus of the recruitment campaign, as well as professionals who already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and trade workers eager to pass their knowledge of the trades to younger generations.