The Looming Teacher Shortage
NYSUT has been out front sounding the alarm on the looming teacher shortage. As baby boomer teachers retire and more leave the profession for a mix of reasons, enrollments in teacher education programs in New York have plummeted 49 percent. An estimated 10 percent of New York teacher education graduates are leaving the state for employment elsewhere, with many blaming the state's cumbersome certification system.
State officials have predicted New York will need more than 180,000 new teachers in the next decade.
The shortage is already hitting selected subject specialties and geographic areas.
Big city and rural districts are reporting severe shortages in many subject areas. Districts with high child poverty rates and racially diverse students are much more likely to face challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified teachers.
Like many states, New York reports persistent shortages in teachers for special education, science, mathematics, foreign languages, bilingual education, career and technical education, health education, literacy and library science.
New York is also seeking greater diversity among teachers. While 54 percent of students in New York in grade K-12 are students of color, 78 percent of all public school teachers are white.