An online university is fighting to solve Washington's teacher shortage

SUNNYSIDE, Wash. - Washington has been hit with a teacher shortage for the past several years. One online university is taking steps to solve the issue.

Western Governors University is offering classes from home to those who have a busy schedule.

Yeraldi Espinosa is a math teacher at Sierra Vista Middle School who said she was able to become a teacher through the program.

Espinosa said she felt the impact on the teacher shortage during her first year of teaching.

“I had to go cover another teacher several times,” said Espinosa.

Espinosa said shortage won’t let it affect her teaching, especially since she has a special connection with her students.

"I feel like I related to some of their backgrounds. Most of these students are going to be first in their family to graduate high school or even think about going to college," said Espinosa.

Last year alone WGU graduated over 16,000 students from its national teaching program.

In Washington there are 1,500 WGU graduates who are working in the education system.

In 2016 legislature passed bill SB-6455 with the intention of bringing awareness to the teacher shortage problem in the state. The bill allows retired teachers to substitute teach without it affecting their retirement benefits.



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