Teacher Shortages Don’t Affect All Equally

April 09, 2021 • Sarah James

Teacher Shortages Don’t Affect All Equally

The pandemic-fueled nationwide teacher shortage that many have feared has yet to materialize; however, there is cause for concern in specific schools and subjects.

A recent article from Chalkbeat addresses the concern of a massive wave of teacher resignations that haven’t happened…yet. With the school year coming to a close, the continued stress of returning to the classroom amidst the ongoing pandemic, and the increase in other job opportunities as the economy recovers, there may be an uptick in teachers leaving their schools or the profession all together.

The biggest concern about this uptick, according to Dan Goldhaber, a leading researcher on teacher quality issues at the University of Washington, is the staffing challenges will likely be felt in subjects like special education, math, and science, as well as in schools with more low-income students and more students of color.

According to national data from 2012, 13 percent of teachers in affluent schools left that year compared to 22 percent of teachers at high-poverty schools. A Chalkbeat analysis in Michigan found similar numbers. High-poverty areas such as Flint and Detroit lost 25 to 33 percent of their teachers each year. In affluent areas, the numbers were closer to five to 14 percent. Further, turnover is notably higher among special education teachers and teachers of color.

Goldhaber believes a shift in the conversation from nationwide shortages to challenges in specific schools and subjects will help point policymakers towards the problems that actually exist.

Visit Chalkbeat for the full story Despite Pandemic, There’s Little Evidence of Rising Teacher Turnover—Yet.

Sarah James is the communications specialist at TASB HR Services. Send Sarah an email at sarah.james@tasb.org.

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Tagged: HR, "Teacher resignations", "Teacher shortage"