In addition to previously published research, this report contains findings from a survey of more than 2,000 business leaders across the nation.
The effects of the pandemic—including record-high levels of stress, burnout, and exhaustion—coupled with chronically low compensation, college debt burdens, and school safety concerns are contributing to the shortage. As a result, qualified educators are leaving the profession or retiring early. Potential educators are not considering the profession or pursuing teacher preparation programs in high-need specialty areas, such as special education.
Without urgent and widespread intervention, the educator shortage will only worsen, and the talent gap will double in just three years.
If the current trend of job openings versus hires in public education and education services continues, by the midpoint of this decade, the talent gap is expected to reach nearly 520,000 educators by 2025— more than doubling the current shortfall of 240,000. That’s at least one missing educator for every 100 PK-12 students.
After learning about the teacher shortage in America, almost all (96%) business leaders surveyed indicated concern about the projected educator shortage, with 75% saying they are moderately or extremely concerned about it. Additionally, more than nine in 10 (91%) business leaders stated the educator shortage has already or will lead to a generation of unprepared workers within five years or sooner. An overwhelming 86% of business leaders believe policymakers should act now to make the education profession more attractive, accessible, rewarding, and sustainable. Nearly half (48%) support increasing educator pay and benefits, and many support efforts to improve school culture and working conditions.