Teacher shortages worsening in majority of US states, study reveals

Sep 6, 2018 by

Turning to underqualified graduates to put more teachers in the classroom

Teacher shortages are worsening across the US for the majority of states, according to an exclusive survey by the Guardian.

The Guardian contacted all US states’ departments and boards of education, and other official bodies. Forty-one states responded; nine others declined to provide relevant data or did not respond to requests for information.

The study found:

  • Of the 41 states that did respond to the survey, 28 say they are experiencing teacher shortages.
  • Of those 28, 15 say teacher shortages have increased in the last year.
  • Of the nine states that didn’t respond to the survey, public data suggests another eight are experiencing teacher shortages.

Schools are struggling to fill positions in science, special education and mathematics, and often have trouble keeping teachers because of low salaries, high student loans, and reduced budgets.

Some states are turning to emergency or short-term licensure to put more teachers in the classroom.

Short-term licensure, which is labelled and categorized in different ways across all 50 states, represents a quick fix to the teaching crisis. Empty positions are filled by teachers who may have a bachelor’s degree, or certification in another topic, but still have further education requirements to complete. Temporary or emergency licensure allows them an allotted amount of time to complete additional requirements while working legally.

The education nonprofit Learning Policy Institute (LPI) says this policy puts less effective teachers in the classroom.

Source: Teacher shortages worsening in majority of US states, study reveals | US news | The Guardian

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