Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Impending Teacher Shortage?

When I started teaching 18 years ago I was told there was an impending teacher shortage.  Every couple of years someone tosses that hand grenade into the camp circle and everyone scrambles--but the shortage never happens.  How can that be?

EIA is on the case:
California Teacher Retirements Down 8%. It’s hopeless, I’m sure, but let’s see if we can head off the next stampede of California teacher shortage hysteria at the pass.

Thanks to the National Center for Education Statistics, we now know that teacher turnover rates shouldn’t be giving us the vapors anymore. With the people currently working in K-12 mostly staying put, we only have to worry about the two ends of the pipeline: new recruits and retirees.

A study by the National Council on Teacher Quality definitively showed an oversupply of new elementary teacher candidates for the available openings. However, California was one of the few states producing fewer new teachers than demand dictated.

Good news, though. NCTQ’s numbers were for 2012-13, and new data from the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) show teacher retirements fell from a high of 11,645 in 2013 to 10,736 last year – a drop of nearly 8 percent.

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing issued 11,500 new teaching licenses last year. All other factors being equal, supply and demand should be pretty close, especially considering there is a cohort of teachers laid off during the recession years available to return to work.
Facts aren't as fun as watching Chicken Little run around like his head's been cut off, but they have the advantage of being real.

There is some bad news, though:
Even with a rosier economic picture, the state’s teacher pension system is only 68.5% funded. It was 85% funded a mere 10 years ago.

1 comment:

maxutils said...

As one who is desperately trying to get back in to the field, I can tell you …the positions, at least at my level (secondary and community college) are virtually non-existent. Or, maybe they just don't like me.