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Lack of Qualified Teachers a Dilemma for Schools

By Beacon Staff

GREAT FALLS – The Montana Board of Public Education says nearly 30 percent of the state’s public schools are failing to meet accreditation standards, in large part because teachers are conducting classes in areas outside their expertise.

Educators from rural schools, especially, say they are failing to meet standards because they don’t have the money to recruit the most qualified teachers.

Yvette Majerus is superintendent in Moore, where the starting salary is $22,185. She says pay is a major issue.

Many rural schools say losing some of their accreditation status is the price they have to pay to fill specialized positions where they’re unable to recruit a qualified teacher, especially when summer rolls around and they don’t have someone in music, technical education or physical education.