County schools lack P.E. teachers

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 28, 2005

LINDEN-Schools throughout the county are lacking physical education teachers and Wednesday a concerned Marengo County High School supporter asked “why?”

Geraldine Moore approached the county school board to ask why Marengo County had not been given a P.E. teacher for the fall semester. She said several concerned parents agreed this was something the school needed.

“Right now we are presently without a certified P.E. teacher,” Moore said. “We have been for the first nine weeks and most of the parents I have talked to agreed we need a certified P.E. teacher.”

Email newsletter signup

The schools two certified teachers retired at the conclusion of the 2004-2005 schoolyear and have yet to be replaced. School Superintendent Luke Hallmark said sometimes this could happen in situations where a class was not taught seven periods a day.

“Sometimes it can just be an oversight,” Hallmark said. “A lot of times when you put the schedules together this can happen, especially in the elementary school range because it is only two to three classes a day.”

Since school began in August the school has had a substitute teacher in place. However, Moore felt it was best to have a certified instructor in place.

“We have had nine weeks using a substitute P.E. teacher,” Moore said. “I know there are some teachers we could get from somewhere. We need a certified P.E. teacher at that school.”

Replacing the teachers in the middle of the semester is another problem. Once schools decide where their money will be distributed Hallmark said it is difficult to alter that plan.

“Once the budget is put together the principal and administrators put teachers where they feel they need them.” Hallmark said. “It is hard to hire after the budget has been put together because you have to change things.”

A second problem arises when the money simply isn’t there. Other schools, such as Sweet Water, have P.E. teachers in place because they have more students. Hallmark said funding is determined on daily attendance for each school.

“The money wheel is determined by the number of students in the school,” Hallmark said. “From there units are put where they are needed.”

Because schools are deep into the fall semester, adding a teacher now would not be an easy task. Hallmark said they would continue to examine ways to put a P.E. teacher in place as soon as possible.

“We are looking at a way to remedy the situation,” Hallmark said. “We are going to look into this deeper to see if we can find a solution.”