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Non-profit organization makes strides to solve teacher shortage

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri has a teacher shortage, according to an education non- profit, which has been taking strides to appeal to people in the metro who are interested in teaching.

The American Board said on its website that it’s dedicated to preparing, certifying and supporting individuals who want to improve their communities by becoming a teacher.

The organization said one reason for the shortage is due to nearly half of people who are going to college to become teachers start in and leave the profession with the first five years.

“The retention rate of those teachers within the first five years is about 50%, so meaning 50% almost of these teachers are leaving the classroom within the first five years,"  said Kimberly Polk with the American Board. "And, I think a lot of that is they're not prepared for what to expect when they get into the classroom."

The American Board, which was originally established by the U.S. Department of Education, said the KCMO Public School District needs hundreds of qualified teachers.

“We need to make sure we have the qualified teachers in the classroom and enough of them to where we can keep the classroom sizes small enough to where these students can really learn and learn hands on what they need to know to get out in the workforce,” said Polk.

According to the American Board, most of the people it certifies are individuals who have been in the workforce for a few years who are looking to make a change. The individuals are able to be certified in one year for $2,000 to $3,000.

The organization is holding informational events in Kansas City throughout the month.

For a list of upcoming informational events visit: http://abcte.org/abcte-events/#