Increasing Teacher Shortage in America

By Niyah Guthery 

Teachers and public school systems all over America are taking a loss. The United States is experiencing one of the greatest shortages in teachers and state educators in over a decade. Since the early 1990s, the national enrollment number of those in teacher education programs has drastically declined.

According to the Learning Policy Institute, there has been a 35 percent decline in prospective graduates seeking teacher education-based careers. The U.S. Census Bureau states that less than one in ten Americans pursuing higher educations choose teacher education-based programs for their degrees. This lack of interest is posing a threat for the field.

Pay for public educators began to decline drastically in the early 1990s. According to the National Education Association, the national average teacher salary is $59,660. However, teachers’ economic positions have declined over time.

Over the past decade, the average classroom teacher’s salary has increased 15.2 percent but after adjusting for inflation, the average salary has actually decreased by $1,823 or 3 percent.

Since there has been such a steady decline in teachers’ pay, many are actually leaving the field for fear that there will be nothing left from their salaries to provide for themselves and their families.

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