Teacher Shortage may loom in Iowa

The Learning Policy Institute released a study in September 2016 reporting a 35 percent decline in enrollment for teacher-preparation programs nationwide, with each individual state declining in the number of teachers.

On Jan. 11, the Iowa Department of Education predicted that Iowa should expect a drastic teacher shortage in several parts of the state, according to the Des Moines Register. Iowa has had a 16 percent decline since 2013.

Although the report said the future doesn’t look entirely bleak for every Iowa school, several areas of education have a high demand for teachers. Larry Bice, the administrative consultant for educator preparation at the state Education Department, said several rural areas of Iowa are severely lacking in terms of finding teachers.

“It’s pretty difficult to get teachers to work in rural areas, because they usually want to move into more urban cities,” Bice said. “Because of that, we’re really lacking teachers in rural Iowa.”

Bice said he believes everyone involved in the education world needs to pitch in so that a solution can be found.