Recent report details Alabama’s teacher shortage

Recent report details Alabama's teacher shortage (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 5:32 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As students leave school for the summer, some teachers may be leaving as well. Alabama is experiencing a teacher shortage and a new study from the Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services details this problem.

“In our reporting, we try not to be duplicative, but want to understand as a whole what’s going on with our teacher workforce,” explained Amber Bullock, the policy lead for the Alabama Commission on the Evaluation of Services.

The study reviews what affects the supply of available teachers and the demand for them.

“Demand factors like teacher burnout and stress may help us understand more about exit-errs who are leaving and then never returning to the classroom,” said Bullock.

The report details that at least 25% of people who earn their first-time teacher certificate in Alabama do not enter public education. This creates a supply gap.

“Why and is that a pool we could as a state potentially look at to fill the gaps in the areas of need?” questioned Bullock.

State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey says recent college graduates often change schools within five years of their first teaching job.

“It’s just a place where they can get a job. Once they get a year, two or three years experience, then they move closer to the closer to home or closer to where they want to live,” he said.

He says teachers who decide to leave for good, will do so after only one year. But after three years in the same district, teachers earn tenured status that allows for more job security.

“We’ve not been able to find any link between tenure and nontenure and teachers staying in the field,” said Mackey.

Understanding why teacher turnover is happening and how to better recruit and retain teachers are questions that need answers, and Bullock says some will be in their next report that should be ready by the end of June.

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