- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - State education officials say 25 counties plan to submit proposals this month for certifying teachers who don’t have a formal education background.

Approved by lawmakers last year, it allows for the alternative certification of teachers in some high-need areas. The state Board of Education approved a policy in September establishing the certification process.

State schools Superintendent Michael Martirano says the program will help promote, recruit and retain a “highly effective and diverse” workforce for students.

The Department of Education says in a news release that the proposals from the 25 counties must be submitted by Feb. 22. A board will review the proposals next month.

Additional proposals also will be accepted before the start of the 2016-17 school year. Further board reviews are scheduled in June and September.

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