The supply of math teachers has moved from a critical to a moderate shortage category, the Utah State Office of Education says.

Roger Mouritsen, teacher certification coordinator, said Utah's colleges and universities produced 70 certified math teachers last year compared with 69 the previous year and 25 in 1983. For years, school districts have had difficulty hiring fully qualified math teachers, and the continual upward trend is good news, Mouritsen said.He said special education teachers are also very much in demand, even though there has been a 30 percent increase in the numbers produced from 1986 to 1987. There were 154 special education certificates given in 1986 and 200 in 1987. Although there was an increase, that doesn't mean that all newly certified teachers sought employment in special education, Mouritsen said.

The total number of teachers graduating from Utah colleges and universities also increased, going from 1,870 in 1985-86 to 2,108 in 1986-87. Mouritsen credited the availability of several excellent scholarships for the increase.