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Explosion of Uncertified New Teachers Filling Shortages

photo of a young female teacher, woman dressed in a blue blazer, standing against a wall, tables / desks in the background

According to a Dallas Morning News study, one in three new teachers hired across Texas during the 2022-2023 school year were uncertified.

School districts across the state are relying on uncertified teachers to fill vacancies more than ever before. During the 2022-2023 school year, approximately 15,300 new teachers were hired without a Texas certification, a 650 percent increase from 2010.

The District of Innovation (DOI) certification exemption is one factor driving the increase of uncertified educators. There are currently 971 Texas school districts that have adopted a DOI plan. While this flexibility may address short-term needs, the Texas Education Agency data shows that hiring non-certified individuals contributes to retention challenges with only 37 percent of uncertified teachers still working in public education after five years.

Districts can combat retention challenges by implementing a strong support system for newly hired uncertified educators. A robust orientation program, teacher mentors, targeted professional development, and frequent check-ins are key components to teacher success. Implementing a strategic approach for support will help new uncertified teachers learn the skills necessary to perform effectively in the classroom.

When hiring uncertified teachers, it is also important to remember parent notification requirements. The Parent Notification Requirements document in the HR Library (member login required) provides guidance and sample letters for notifications required under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). Both English and Spanish versions are available.

The full article, Inside Texas’ explosion of uncertified new teachers filling shortages, is available on the Dallas Morning News website.

More information about supporting uncertified teachers can also be found in the HRX article Supporting Non-traditional Route Teachers.

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Lauren Wurman
Lauren Wurman
HR and Compensation Consultant

Lauren Wurman joined the HR Services team as an HR and compensation consultant in 2023. She assists with compensation plan development, training, and other HR projects. Prior to TASB, Wurman spent 18 years working in education. Most recently, she was the executive director of human resources for a Texas public school district.

Wurman holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas. She also has a pHCLE certification.

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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