Montgomery school parents concerned about certified teacher shortage

Montgomery school parents concerned about certified teacher shortage

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Regina Boyd attended Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Montgomery County Board of Education meeting hoping to hear a plan from the system to hire and place more certified teachers.

“My daughter has no certified teachers,” Boyd said. “She has two long-term subs and a P.E. teacher.”

Boyd called it “unacceptable” that her daughter, a sixth grader at Goodwyn Middle School, has gone nine weeks without a certified teacher. She also said she never received a progress report for her daughter and the only grade posted online is a 100 in P.E.

“Every day she comes home with an attitude,” Boyd said. “She’s not doing anything in class. She gets worksheets, but she isn’t learning anything.”

Boyd said she is a former substitute teacher and knows they have a limited ability to teach the material.

“Standardized testing is coming up and right now my daughter is not up to par,” Boyd said. “It’s not fair to her or any of other students.”

Boyd wrote a letter to the board explaining her frustrations and laying out all of the system officials she spoke with who assured her the issue would be resolved without any results. In her letter, she gave the board a deadline of Sept. 25 to hire more teachers, saying she would transfer her daughter if nothing changed.

Larry Lee, the school board member who represents Goodwyn, invited Boyd to Tuesday’s meeting.

“I asked her to come so she could introduce herself to the superintendent and the board,” Lee said. “Sometimes it helps to put a name with a face.”

Boyd was not able to speak at the meeting because she did not sign up ahead of time. However, she was able to speak one-on-one with the system’s chief of staff.

Lee said Goodwyn, like all MPS middle schools except one, was impacted by the selling of Georgia Washington.

“Goodwyn had a tremendous increase in student population this year,” Lee said.

More than 300 more students were zoned to the school this year than last school year. Lee said it’s been “difficult” to hire enough certified teachers to meet the added need.

Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore said the system’s human resources department is working to address the issue.

“We acknowledge it’s a problem but we are already working to fix it,” Moore said.

Moore said the challenges to hire certified teachers stem from the competitive market to hire people with math and science degrees in a number of other fields and the efforts to work on MPS' reputation to appeal to more potential job candidates.

Boyd said she did not get a clear plan for the future Tuesday, but she is hopeful. However, she said if nothing changes, she is prepared to have her daughter transferred.

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