Is teacher turnover going to keep increasing over the next few years? Will there be enough college students graduating with education degrees to make up the deficit?
Predictions for both questions are available from one of two state-by-state teacher shortage reports released in recent weeks. The first, created by a team of higher education researchers, breaks down longer-term trends and offers a forecast of when shortages might stabilize. Its creators estimate schools are dealing with about 55,000 vacancies while 270,000 positions have been filled by underqualified educators.
“At the same time, we are seeing a decline or stagnation in enrollment for teacher certification programs for most states as well as a sharp increase in teachers leaving the profession in the last two years compared to the last decade,” say researchers from Kansas State University, the University of Pittsburgh and other institutions.
While teacher turnover peaked at 14% in 2021-22, the researchers expect that it fell to 12% in 2022-23 and will remain flat this school year. On the other hand, the number of college students studying education has steadily declined since 2013. Most concerning is the sharp drop in students leaving college with a teaching degree—from about 192,700 in 2013 to 159,000 last school year.
“The number of students enrolled in and those completing teacher preparation programs has plummeted over the last decade, and although there was a slight recovery post-pandemic, our estimates indicate that it stagnates over the 2022-2023 school year,” the researchers concluded.
State-by-state teacher shortages by subject
Did you know that Arkansas schools are facing teacher shortages in arts and music, computer science, language arts, math, science, social studies and world languages? Or do you just want to know that almost no state has enough special educators?
You can drill down by subject area or stay at 30,000 feet, so to speak, with an interactive map produced by Scholaroo, a scholarship-search firm. It allows users to see the critical shortage areas in each state or which states have shortages in specific academic subjects.
Click on California, for instance, and you’ll learn the state’s greatest needs are in elementary education, language arts, math, science and special education. Navigating by subject, you’ll notice those last three are problems in a majority of states.