The Nationwide Teacher Shortage
The teacher shortage is a problem for the majority of school districts, and more and more of these districts are forced to settle for unqualified teachers.
Among the 62% reporting shortages, 34% of those were across every position, and 66% were in specific areas. An alarming 76% of surveyed districts had shortages in Special Education.
Positions requiring special certification and skills that are difficult to obtain and maintain continue to have the largest amount of teacher shortages. Since very few students are looking to enter these fields, districts are having to compete for a limited number of candidates.
By region, the west coast states have the highest percentage of districts reporting shortages at a whopping 89%. Many districts in California said that the cost of living is too high in their area, which discourages new graduates from working in education.
The reasoning for the shortages is generally the same in every region, but there are a few exceptions. The Midwest, Southeast and Rocky Mountains, for example, have more issues with not having enough education school graduates. In comparison, the Southeast and Southwest report poor salary and benefits when compared to other careers.
Using statewide job fairs, college career services job boards, and job fairs by other organizations are methods for finding the best applicants. However, only 22% of districts have data on what recruiting methods work and which don’t.
44% of districts experiencing a teacher shortage are confident in hiring decisions, compared to the 83% of confident districts with no teacher shortages. When faced with shortages, Educators are finding it nearly impossible to find the perfect candidate.
One respondent noted, “We had very few candidates for the position posted this summer and had to ‘settle’ for individuals that were not qualified for the position.”
The teacher shortage is a nationwide issue.