In order to reduce the number of teaching vacancies that currently exist, Mercer County Schools has an Alternative Certification for Teachers program in collaboration with Marshall University and Concord University that would allow someone who has a four-year degree in an area other than teaching to be hired in a teaching position for a subject experiencing shortages.
Thousands of additional children will soon be eligible for special education services after state officials eliminated an illegal cap that artificially tamped down Texas special education rolls for a decade. But even if the state fully funds the estimated $3 billion cost of providing that extra instruction, educators say one big question remains: Where will schools find up to 9,000 new special education teachers?
Chicago Public Schools has more than 700 unfilled jobs for special ed teachers, classroom aides and clinicians. It’s trying to fill the gap by waiving the city residency requirement to hire teachers in special education and other “hard-to-staff” areas; by launching a teacher residency program with a New York-based graduate program; and by starting an early hire program that offers jobs to education students who commit to teaching in “high-needs” areas.
Teacher shortages across the country are getting so dire that they’re forcing some school districts to live stream lessons, replacing educators in many classrooms. According to The Wall Street Journal, tens of thousands of high school students nationwide are now getting lessons taught by a remote teacher to occupy many hard-to-fill positions in areas like science, math and special education.
This report says that the nationwide teacher shortage is much more nuanced than typically reported. One nuance is that the number of teacher graduates is growing. A nationwide study cited within the NCTQ’s report shows that there were over 3.8 million public school teachers in 2015-16 — an increase of some 400,000, or 13 percent, over the previous four years. Yet only about half of these graduates fill a teaching job on any given year.
This study found that 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.
California has earmarked nearly $200 million over the last four years to address the state’s persistent teacher shortage, but it is not enough, according to new studies that are part of “Getting Down to Facts II,” a research project focused on a wide array of statewide education issues. The teacher shortage has worsened in recent years as state funding for education improved and districts began lowering class sizes and bringing back programs like summer school and the arts, which were frequently eliminated during the recession, increasing the need for more teachers.