Schools continue to face specific and persistent teacher shortages in certain subjects, such as upper-level math and special education, and in certain schools, including historically under-resourced schools and rural schools. The current teacher workforce also has a shortage of teachers of color, who have a positive impact on student outcomes and school climate. These shortages are more likely to impact schools that serve students in rural and urban areas, linguistically diverse students, students identified for special education and students of color. Shortages contribute to students being taught by inexperienced or out-of-field teachers and they can be financially costly for schools and districts. Declining participation in teacher preparation programs, coupled with high turnover in the profession, suggests that a comprehensive approach that accounts for each stage of the teacher pipeline is necessary to recruit and retain effective teachers.
This resource compiles state-specific data related to teacher shortages and provides a national comparison of state policies to recruit and retain teachers across the teacher pipeline. The 50-State Comparison includes state policies relevant to each stage of the pipeline with separate sections on state teacher workforce data and financial incentives, which are important state policy levers at every stage of the pipeline.
Click on a question below to see data for all states. To view a specific state’s approach, go to the State Profiles page.
Expanding Interest in the Field and Initial Preparation
- Does the state offer a pathway, program or incentive through statute or regulation to recruit high school students into the teaching profession?
- Does the state offer a pathway, program or incentive through statute or regulation to recruit paraprofessionals into the teaching profession?
- Does the state create or support teacher residency programs through statute or regulation?
Early Career Support
Ongoing Support and Career Advancement
- Does the state require that an established portion of a teacher’s workday/work week be designated exclusively for teacher planning?
- Does the state require certain measures for teacher evaluations in statute or regulation?
- Does the state have a licensure system that allows teachers to advance beyond a standard professional license?
- Does the state offer a teacher leader license or endorsement?
- Has the state adopted teacher leader standards?
Financial Incentives and Compensation
- Does statute establish requirements for minimum teacher pay?
- Does statute define at least one statewide scholarship or grant program to help recruit teachers for underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas?
- Does statute define at least one statewide loan forgiveness program to help recruit teachers for underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas?
- Does statute require, or explicitly encourage, additional pay for teachers who work in underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas?
- Does statute define at least one statewide financial incentive program for teachers of color?
- Does the state require or provide additional pay for teachers who obtain advanced licensure?
- Does the state require or provide additional pay for teachers who obtain National Board Certification?
- Forty states and the District of Columbia have published teacher shortage data in the past five years.
- Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have released educator equity gap data since they originally submitted their ESSA plans.
- Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have conducted a statewide teacher working conditions survey in the past five years. Some states conduct a survey annually.
- States are creating pathways, programs and/or incentives to recruit high school students and/or paraprofessionals into the teaching profession. Thirty-two states offer pathways for high school students, while 25 states and the District of Columbia offer one for paraprofessionals.
- Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have created or supported teacher residencies in state policy.
- Thirty-one states require induction and mentoring support for new teachers in statute or regulation. Thirty-five states set minimum qualifications for teachers serving as mentors.
- Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia have at least one scholarship program for teachers who commit to teach in underserved schools or shortage subject areas and 25 states have a loan forgiveness program for the same purpose.
- Fourteen states have established incentives for teachers of color in state policy. Another 13 states either prioritize teachers of color in existing scholarship or loan forgiveness programs or provide support to teacher preparation programs in recruiting teachers of color.
- State Policy Levers to Address Teacher Shortages
- Enhancing Teacher Preparation Through Clinical Experience
- 50-State Comparison: Teacher License Reciprocity
- Key Issues: Teaching Profession
PUBLISHED: December 1, 2022
RESOURCE TYPE: 50-State Comparison