A state senator comes up with a way to plug the shortage of math and science teachers in public schools, but faces questions about whether he’s on the right track.

Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit says school districts should be allowed to make extra payments to math and science teachers. He also says the state should give teachers’ licenses to people with math and science degrees who have not been trained as teachers.

He says schools need to pay more to attract math and science teachers away from private industry. He says math or science teachers should be paid more than English or history teachers to attract people with degrees in those fields away from private industry.

Some other Senators suggest school districts already can make those extra payments, and a teachers’ group lobbyist says the state has programs encouraging more students to become math and science teachers–although the legislature has never adequately funded it.

Bartle argues few districts make those extra payments and says the state should order all districts to do so.


(The bill is SB833)

download Bob Priddy’s story (:57 mp3)