Districts across the country are facing severe shortages of teachers — especially in certain subjects (math, science, special education, career and technical education, and bilingual education) and in specific schools (those that are underperforming; those that are serving students in urban or rural areas or low-income communities; and those serving high percentages of students of color). This resource compiles state-specific data related to teacher shortages and provides a national comparison of state policies to recruit and retain teachers, especially in shortage subject areas and underserved schools. The resource features state educator preparation program completion data, shortage and equity gap data, in addition to policies found in state statutes, regulations and other documents, as of August 2019. It does not reflect local implementation or practice, including policies or programs at postsecondary institutions.

Click on a question below to see data for all states. To view a specific state’s approach, go to the state profiles page.

 50-State Comparisons

Shortage data and reports

  1. What is the number and percentage change in the state’s educator preparation program completion between 2008-09 and 2016-17 (total and by program type)?
  2. What is the number and percentage change in the state’s educator preparation program completion between 2015-16 and 2016-17 (total and by program type)?
  3. Has the state published state-specific teacher shortage data within the past five years?
  4. Has the state published educator equity gap data (apart from what was submitted in the Educator Equity Plan and ESSA State Plan)?

Expanding the pool of teacher candidates

  1. Does the state offer a pathway, program or incentive through statute or regulation to recruit high school students into the teaching profession?
  2. Does the state offer a pathway, program or incentive through statute or regulation to recruit paraprofessionals into the teaching profession?
  3. Does the state create opportunities for teacher residency programs through statute or regulation?
  4. What percentage of educator preparation program graduates came from alternative preparation programs in the year the data were last reported (2016-17)?

Teacher pay and financial incentives

  1. Does statute establish requirements for minimum teacher pay?
  2. Does statute define at least one statewide scholarship or grant program to help recruit teachers to underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas?
  3. Does statute define at least one statewide loan forgiveness program to help recruit teachers to underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas?
  4. Does statute require or explicitly encourage additional pay for teachers who work in underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas?
  5. Does statute define at least one statewide financial incentive program for teachers of color?
  6. Does the state require or explicitly encourage additional pay for teachers who obtain advanced licensure?
  7. Does the state require or explicitly encourage additional pay for teachers who obtain National Board Certification?

Early and ongoing supports

  1. Does the state require induction and mentoring support for new teachers? If so, what is the required length?
  2. Does the state require or explicitly encourage reduced teaching loads for new and/or mentor teachers?
  3. Does the state require that an established portion of a teacher’s work day/week be designated exclusively for teacher planning?

Key Takeaways

  • Forty-five states reported a decrease in educator preparation program completion between 2008-09 and 2016-17.
  • Thirteen states reported an increase in educator preparation program completion between 2015-16 and 2016-17. Oregon reported the greatest percentage increase in completion (+11%).
  • Most states rely heavily — and sometimes exclusively — on traditional teacher preparation programs to train teacher candidates. However, in 2017, three states and the District of Columbia reported that more than 50% of their educator preparation program graduates came from alternative preparation programs.
  • States are creating pathways, programs and/or incentives to recruit high school students and paraprofessionals into the teaching profession. Twenty-two states have policies in place to recruit high school students, and 23 states have policies in place to recruit paraprofessionals.
  • Forty-four states define at least one statewide scholarship/grant, loan forgiveness and/or additional pay program in statute to recruit teachers to underserved schools and/or shortage subject areas. Eleven states define at least one statewide financial incentive program for teachers of color.
  • Thirty-one states require induction and mentoring support for new teachers, and 22 states require or explicitly encourage reduced teaching loads for new and/or mentor teachers. Eleven states require that an established portion of a teacher’s work day/week be designated for teacher planning.

Related Resources

Staff Contact
Stephanie Aragon
saragon@ecs.org
303.299.3614


 PUBLISHED: October 23, 2019

 AUTHOR(S): , , , , ,

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 STATE(S): Nationwide

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