Teacher shortage hits hardest in rural Alabama

Mar 3, 2019 by

There have been many news reports in recent weeks about Alabama’s teacher shortage. State and local education officials say there are many reasons for the teacher shortage, and many, including state Superintendent Eric Mackey, are calling it a crisis.

What’s missing from many of those media reports is an historical perspective and a factual analysis of whether the entire state of Alabama is in a crisis or whether, as has been the case for many years, some areas of the state struggle more than others to fill teaching positions with qualified candidates.

In other words, Alabama’s teacher shortage is nothing new. What is new, though, is a renewed focus on all things teachers and schools. With teachers striking across the country, and politically-motivated voices doing their best to get attention, it’s no surprise to see Alabama officials focusing on teachers as well.

And with educators pushing for a pay raise and the state legislative session starting next week, AL.com tried here to sort through the numbers and determine where teacher shortages exist, if at all.

Spoiler alert: yes, there is a teacher shortage in Alabama, but no, it isn’t a statewide shortage, it isn’t across all grade levels, and it isn’t across all subjects.

“The teacher shortage problem is very complex,” School Superintendents of Alabama Executive Director Ryan Hollingsworth said, “and it’s going to take a table full of ideas and angles and approaches to solve it.”

Hollingsworth is a member of a new statewide task force created to find workable solutions to help get qualified teachers into classrooms. That includes recruiting students to enter the profession and then recruiting new teachers to work in hard-to-staff areas.

Continue: Teacher shortage hits hardest in rural Alabama – al.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.