Addressing shortages in a state’s teacher labor market can present unique challenges and requires access to comprehensive data and an understanding of available policy levers. To support informed policy, the Education Commission of the States has compiled a national comparison of state policies related to teacher recruitment and retention, with a focus on shortages in subject area expertise and underserved schools. This new comprehensive resource also features data on educator preparation program completion, shortages and equity gaps.
Key Takeaways include the following:
- 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.
State profiles are provided here: https://www.ecs.org/teacher-recruitment-and-retention-state-profiles/