* Although I agree with making sure applicants are qualified to teach (editorial, April 17), it needs to be pointed out that some very qualified applicants are being turned away by the unrealistic financial burden that it takes to become a credentialed teacher. As a seventh-year teacher I am mentoring my friend, a single mother of four, as she attempts to become an elementary teacher. She has put herself through school for many years, scraping by on loans and scholarships. Now, as she nears the finish line, she appears to be hitting quicksand.
How can someone in her situation student-teach during the day for free, go to school at night while supporting four school-aged children and still be able to come up with all the extra fees to pay for the qualifying exams, fingerprinting process and a credential application fee? If we have a teacher shortage coming, it seems this mess is only going to get worse.
To meet an urgent need for teachers, your April 17 editorial speaks of finding incentives to attract midcareer professionals who already have the expertise. Midcareer professionals who turn to teaching have already accumulated some Social Security entitlement and probably have higher degrees--hence the expertise.