MARSHALL COUNTY, W. Va. (WTRF)

It’s called the Grow Your Own Pathway To Teaching initiative.

The West Virginia Superintendent of Schools has been visiting counties all over the state, explaining how it works.

While at John Marshall High School, W. Clayton Burch said there are 250,000 students in public schools in the mountain state but only 23,000 teachers.

Right now there are 1,200 teaching job vacancies.

He didn’t sugar coat it; teachers have a hard job.

“It is quite difficult,” said Burch. “In the State of West Virginia, of 250,000 children, you’re looking at almost 20,000 that will be in foster care or maybe identified as homeless. Children are coming from homes from opioid addiction. So it is a very tough field, to be a teacher.”

He said 28 counties are participating in this pilot program.

He said students who take these college courses in high school can go on to college and finish in three years.

To find out more about Grow Your Own Pathway To Teaching, check out the WVDE website.