Today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce, and high turnover and attrition in America’s schools threaten student achievement. That’s why, as beneficiaries of a well-educated, highly skilled citizenry, America’s business leaders express growing levels of care and concern about the educator shortage.
To understand how concerned American employers are about the growing educator shortage and its impact on their ability to meet current and future workforce needs, Kelly Education commissioned a national survey of more than 2,000 business leaders in July 2022. Here’s what we found.
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 the educator shortage.
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. Almost half (47%) of business leaders believe the educator shortage will negatively impact their organization’s ability to hire local, qualified talent within the next five to 10 years. Another 30% said the educator shortage has already resulted in an unprepared generation of workers.
Presidents and business owners were more likely to say that they’re already seeing the impact of the educator shortage, with 40% saying there is a current unprepared generation of workers compared to 30% on average.
Business leaders express care and concern for how today’s students, facing the dual challenges of recovering from the pandemic and a lack of qualified educators to support them, will thrive as working adults. More than half (53%) believe that students who were in school during the pandemic will be at a disadvantage compared to students who went to school before the pandemic. Nearly the same percentage believes the educator shortage will worsen the mental and behavioral health crisis among students (50%) and impact the number of students who pursue education beyond high school (57%) in their community. More than one in three (38%) believe it will lead to higher crime rates.
More than two-thirds (68%) of business leaders also fear that a lack of qualified talent will have negative impacts on economic development and prosperity in their state or community. And more than half (55%) of business leaders believe that the educator shortage will worsen the quality of schools in their community, thereby impacting their ability to attract outside talent to relocate for employment opportunities.
And more than half (55%) of business leaders believe that the educator shortage will worsen the quality of schools in their community, thereby impacting their ability to attract outside talent to relocate for employment opportunities.
More than four out of five (82%) business leaders think educators are asked to do too much for what they are paid.
Almost nine in 10 (86%) business leaders think educators are underappreciated, considering how much they contribute to society. A similar, overwhelming percentage (89%) believe educators should be valued as much or even more than first responders. However, the reality is much different—as educators are paid less than store managers, nurses, and police officers, according to median salaries. And some educators make less than firefighters, truck drivers, and mechanics.
Nearly seven in 10 (69%) business leaders think that teaching professions are no longer considered esteemed professions by the public.