Is the teacher shortage a nationwide problem?
It’s difficult to know given the lack of comprehensive data, but a team of researchers recently began to gather nationwide data on raw counts of teacher vacancies by state. Researchers from Kansas State University and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign examined the latest news reports, state department of education websites and documented sources tracing teacher shortages in every state. More on their findings can be found in a recently published working paper for the Annenberg Institute at Brown University.
This new data reflects available information from 38 states, though the range of data from state to state extends from 2014 to 2022.
“This estimate is likely an underestimate as some reports are out of date (before the Covid-19 pandemic),” the report said. “While there may be a debate as to whether there is a national teacher shortage or what constitutes a national teacher shortage, our results clearly indicate the majority of states are experiencing teacher shortages.”
Looking at the latest preliminary findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with additional data from the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, here’s what the latest research tells us about teacher shortages nationwide, in four charts.