The competition for labor has never been more intense. Employers have more job openings than ever before, and there are fewer potential employees to fill those roles. The unemployment rate is near pre-pandemic lows, and there are few working-age adults who are not already employed.
These labor problems are hitting schools particularly hard. Even flush with a surge of federal dollars, districts simply can’t hire as many people as they would like to.
The supply of new teachers is also down significantly. Depending on the data source, there are 20 to 30 percent fewer people going into teaching each year than there were a decade ago. Those numbers are not likely to rebound quickly.
What caused the decline in teacher-preparation enrollments and completions? Until we diagnose the problem accurately, we won’t be able to devise solutions to fix it, writes Chad Aldeman.
In this article for Education Next, he offers a few theories and attempts to unpack how much truth there is behind each one.