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WCU hosts 1st annual Statewide Teacher Shortage Conference

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 5:33 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - For a year and a half, Executive Vice President Of William Carey University, Dr. Ben Burnett, studied the causes of teacher shortages in the southern region and in our state.

“The shortage areas are geographically in underserved and rural areas especially in our Delta,” Burnett said.

He said there are two specific areas that experience the biggest teacher shortages all over the state.

“The areas of special education and mathematics,” Burnett said.

Burnett said now is the time to do something about the shortage.

William Carey University is organizing the First Annual Statewide Teacher Shortage Conference, Nov. 4t on William Carey’s Tradition Campus.

He said this conference won’t be a day of discussion, and that’s all. Burnett explained that he’s gathering those who are ready to take on this battle: Those in education, the business community and those who truly care about the state of Mississippi teacher shortages.

“We’re going to create a document by the end of the conference that we are going share as a public document to anybody who wants it for our solutions based on our conversations from this day,” Burnett added.

Vice-Chair of the Legislature’s Education Committee, Representative Kent McCarty, will be a part of those discussions.

“We know that education is the way to solve a lot of the problems that we have in Mississippi that have been lingering for a long time. If we don’t do something, as a body, as representatives, to resolve that, then we are failing the people of Mississippi,” McCarty said.

Burnett said just one idea from this upcoming teacher shortage conference could change the course of education for the Magnolia State.

“If we come up with one solution that hasn’t been thought of that can spark a conversation with the State Department of Education, or local school boards, or the state legislature, it will be worth our time,” Burnett explained.

Burnett said William Carey Univerity is partnering with Gulfport School District to host the conference. It will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. It’s free and seating is limited.

If you are interested in going call WCU at (601) 318-6299.

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