Foreign Imports Ease Georgia Teacher Shortage
To cope with a shortage of mathematics and science teachers, the State of Georgia has begun to recruit them from West Germany, where there is a large surplus of instructors.
A team of Georgia educators interviewed 30 candidates in Germany this summer and hired 8 to fill vacancies in 6 county school systems in the state for one year, beginning this fall.
They will be paid the state's starting salary of $14,526. If the program is successful, officials say, it will be expanded next year.
"It's a stop-gap measure," said Werner Rogers, associate state superintendent.
"We don't look at this as an answer to our problems, but the shortage of qualified mathematics and science teachers is getting more critical each day," he added.
The officials note that in some of the state's school systems, substitutes were placed in mathematics and science classrooms for up to eight weeks last year because of the teacher shortage.
They say they are pleased with the caliber of the German teachers they recruited. They are "extremely well prepared," says Mr. Rogers.
Like all prospective German teachers, the eight who will be teaching in Georgia this fall completed a double undergraduate major in their subject areas, graduate training in teaching techniques, and an 18-month teaching internship.
All of the teachers are fluent in English, a result of a requirement that all West German students study English from the 5th grade through high school.
According to West German estimates, the country has a surplus of 40,000 teachers.--pb