Giving Compass’ Take:
• A Guardian survey of 41 states in the U.S reported that teacher shortages are worsening in many states. Schools are forced to fill vacant teacher positions with professionals that may have a degree in another field.
• What is the root source of teacher shortages? Does it start before teachers start in schools or after?
• Read more about the reasons behind the worsening teacher shortage.
Teacher shortages are worsening across the US for the majority of states, according to an exclusive survey by the Guardian.
The Guardian contacted all US states’ departments and boards of education, and other official bodies. Forty-one states responded; nine others declined to provide relevant data or did not respond to requests for information.
The study found:
- Of the 41 states that did respond to the survey, 28 say they are experiencing teacher shortages.
- Of those 28, 15 say teacher shortages have increased in the last year.
- Of the nine states that didn’t respond to the survey, public data suggests another eight are experiencing teacher shortages.
Schools are struggling to fill positions in science, special education and mathematics, and often have trouble keeping teachers because of low salaries, high student loans, and reduced budgets. Some states are turning to emergency or short-term licensure to put more teachers in the classroom.
Empty positions are filled by teachers who may have a bachelor’s degree, or certification in another topic, but still have further education requirements to complete. Temporary or emergency licensure allows them an allotted amount of time to complete additional requirements while working legally.
Shortages have increased in parts of every region of the US in the past year.
In California, which has the largest number of public school students in the US, 80% of districts reported a shortage of qualified teachers in 2017-2018, and nine out of 10 of those districts said the situation was worse than the previous school year.
The school year in Oklahoma is beginning with nearly 500 teaching vacancies – despite the heavy reliance on underqualified emergency instructors.
Read the full article about teachers shortages across the U.S. by Sarah Betancourt at The Guardian
North America is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
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