A Survey of State Initiatives

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Idaho is "definitely" suffering a shortage of mathematics and science teachers, according to various officials in the state education department, but because of the state's tight education budget, they said, there are as yet no programs to deal with it.

A.D. Luke, chief of the bureau of instruction for the state, said there are no plans in the works to increase the number of qualified math and science teachers.

The state does not keep supply-and-demand figures for math and science teachers, but Richard P. Rapp, director of career planning at Boise State University, said a shortage exists. "We don't have any real numbers, but we are seeing a significant number of openings," he said, ''and we aren't graduating much in the way of teachers in math and science education."

He said that in 1982 Boise State--which is the largest teacher-training institution in the state--did not graduate any math teachers. "Some of the demand has been lessened because of the severe budget problems in Idaho," he added. "Many schools just aren't filling the positions, but are increasing class loads."

The effects of the budget problems have extended to the state department of education, which last month lost its math consultant to private business.

George Tucker, the outgoing consultant, said he is leaving the department because of a "bureaucratic" reluctance in the state department of education to look into the science-math situation.

Idaho students are now required to take one year of math and two years of science. Students entering 9th grade in the fall of 1984 will have to complete an additional year of math--a change made recently by the state board of education.

Vol. 02, Issue 39

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