This year the Newton County School System hired 12 individuals as part of the Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (TAPP).
Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Donald Dunnigan said the program allows people with specialized degrees other than in education to obtain an intern certificate for two years while they obtain their teaching degrees.
He said although this is the district's first year participating, several multi-county programs have existed in the state for five or six years.
"TAPP is a response to the lack of having qualified personnel to fill vacancies that systems have," Dunnigan said.
He said critical needs areas such as science and math are especially in need of qualified personnel.
Potential teachers still must pass certain assessments for Georgia Professional Certification before they are given intern certificates.
They then have two years to turn the intern certificate into a clear renewable certificate.
"During the time they are teaching," Dunnigan said, "they are studying and doing what they need to do to have it converted."
Dunnigan explained TAPP participants are hired late the season to give those with clear renewable certificates a chance to apply.
"We're going to take advantage of all the options that are out there who meet our requirements based on the Georgia Professional Standards and No Child Left Behind," Dunnigan said. "However, I will say, that our priority is still going to be finding those teachers with a clear renewable certificate."
The NCSS has hired four special education teachers, one math teacher, one science teacher and six for other areas of study through TAPP for the 2007-2008 school year.