Food for Thought Friday: Teacher Shortages

by Kristie Burk

Last week, Dr. Reed, Assistant Superintendent of the Downingtown Area School District, shared this article from LancasterOnline called “Lancaster County will feel shortage of classroom teachers in less than two years.” A followup editorial in the Pottstown Mercury News called “Pa.’s looming teacher, substitute shortage” appeared last Friday.

Both articles discuss some startling statistics from the PA Department of Education regarding possible future teacher shortages.  For example, the articles report that the number of in-state residents seeking teacher certifications was 6,215 in 2015, down from 16,361 three years earlier. That is a 62 percent decrease in just 3 years!  And it’s not just a Pennsynvaia problem.  The government’s website on Title II Higher Education Act shows that the number of initial teacher certifications nationally has dropped by 30% in the last 5 years.



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