Teacher shortage

August 4, 2022

Right now it’s number one on the list of issues that are concerning school districts … hard-pressed districts are going to have to come up with some solutions.

Dan Domenech, executive director of the School Superintendents Association, talking about the nationwide teacher shortage.

Why It Matters: School districts across the country are facing a teacher shortage as a new school year approaches (or has already begun). Many districts have experienced an ongoing shortage that intensified with the onset of the pandemic; low pay, exhaustion, local and national politics, pandemic protocols, etc. are some of the main reasons experts say are contributing to the current situation.

  • No national database provides exact numbers, but state and district-level reports indicate some districts facing hundreds to thousands of vacancies.
  • Example: The Nevada State Education Association lists around 3,000 unfilled jobs within school districts; one district has as few as two openings while another (and larger) district has over 2,000 openings. To help combat the shortage, some Nevada districts are increasing salaries for both new hires and those already on staff.
  • Other unique solutions: Florida recently announced that military veterans and members who served for at least four years can teach K-12. Arizona signed a law allowing college students to teach. Some rural districts in Texas have switched to a four-day school week.
  • Something to Consider: A 2019 study examined retention rates of new teachers in Texas based on their certification type (attending a four-year university vs. receiving a certificate) as well as what type of school they first started working at. The study “found that a traditionally certified teacher in a traditional public school has a 67.5% chance of staying in education, while a teacher who went through an alternative certification program and started out at a charter school has a 48.4% chance.”

‘Never seen it this bad’: America faces catastrophic teacher shortage (The Washington Post)

As teacher shortage grows, some schools scramble before new year (Fox News)

by Jenna Lee,