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Shortage of math and science teachers in Limestone County

Limestone County school officials said within the past 10 years people with math and science degrees are finding other careers outside of education.

Posted: Nov. 8, 2017 7:37 PM
Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 7:41 PM

Limestone School County officials are finding it difficult to hire math and science teachers.

They're noticing every year they get way more applications for elementary school teachers. They wish they could say that about applications for math and science teachers.

Athens State University student Ashton Boyd thought about being a science teacher, but her heart is with elementary school students

"I can go maybe into an organization where they have young summer camps, I can do that or if I go into the classrooms, I can incorporate science and math," said education major Ashton Boyd.

Limestone County school officials said within the past 10 years people with math and science degrees are finding other careers outside of education.

They also said it's becoming a statewide problem.

"It's similar to other things they can make a lot more money. If you love math and you love science, then you have more options to make money than teaching," Tommy Hunter with Limestone County school said.

The average starting salary in Limestone County is $36,000.

In 2016, there were 43 math education majors and 20 science majors at Athens State University,

Dean of College and Education, Dr. Patricia Simms said standardized testing is scaring students away from teaching.

"They feel pressured to teach to the test. there's more paper work they're required to teach. As part of the profession, and track each student and achievement," Dean Patricia Simms said.

Dean Simms also mentioned the college hosts "We Teach" conference which shows the benefits of becoming a teacher to high school students across the state.

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