Topic: Teacher Shortages
Every student deserves a great teacher — but teacher shortages hurt education and the economy. Teachers are one of the most influential factors in a child’s learning. And collectively, the teacher workforce helps to prepare workers for all other industries.
But across the Southeast, teacher shortages harm student learning, deepen inequities, compound the challenges teachers face, and cause economic disadvantages.
HOW CAN STATES REVERSE THESE TRENDS?
To elevate the profession and address teacher shortages, states should:
1. Understand the data. Data is a valuable tool to help inform both policy and practice. Regional and state data can paint a picture of teacher workforce strengths, challenges, and trends.
2. Design a comprehensive blueprint. When renovating teacher workforce policies, consider the big picture rather than individual pieces in isolation. Design policies for preparation & pathways, licensure, professional support, and compensation together as an interlocking system.
3. Ensure policies support each stage of a teacher’s career. Aligning policies from preparation through classroom teaching and leadership opportunities can help make teaching a more attractive and sustainable profession.
States are uniquely positioned for this work — by collecting, analyzing, and distributing teacher workforce data, states can shine a light on inequities and inefficiencies. SREB supports efforts to use data to inform policy and practice, shares research and analysis, and conducts focus groups with teachers to learn more about their experiences.