Seventy people were certified to teach math during the last school year, indicating that Utah may not face the shortage of math teachers feared earlier, a State Office of Education official says.

Roger Mouritsen, teacher certification coordinator in the state school office, said Utah's colleges and universities produced 70 certified math teachers during the 1986-87 school year, compared to 69 the previous year and 25 in 1983.The upward trend, he said, is good news for school officials who for years have had trouble hiring fully qualified math teachers. A recent state school office survey showed that math has moved from the "critical" to the "moderate" shortage category.

Mouritsen said special education teachers still are in high demand, even though there has been a 30 percent increase in the number produced from 1986 to 1987.

In 1986, 154 special education certificates were granted, while in 1987, 200 special education teachers were graduated. He said some of the graduates did not seek employment in the special education field.

Mouritsen said the number of teachers graduating from Utah higher education institutions rose from 1,870 in 1985-86 to 2,108 in the following year. The increase, he said, was partly due to several scholarship opportunities.