National Teacher Shortage Threatens Education Quality

EPI shows that the pandemic exacerbated a preexisting and long-standing shortage of teachers.
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A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows that the pandemic exacerbated a preexisting and long-standing shortage of teachers.

The shortage is especially severe in schools with high shares of students of color or students from low-income families. The shortage is not because there is an inadequate number of qualified teachers in the U.S. economy. The problem is simply that there are too few qualified teachers willing to work at current pay levels, given the increasingly stressful environment facing teachers.

Teacher shortages are widespread, but are especially acute in some subject areas.

A shortage of qualified teachers and other staff threatens students’ ability to learn, undermining the education system’s goal of providing a sound education equitably to all children. 

This situation must not be allowed to continue. To end the teacher shortage, we must address the two most pressing reasons for the problem:

(A) The long-standing decline in the pay of teachers relative to other workers with a college degree; and
(B) The high and increasing levels of stress public school teachers face every day in the classroom. 

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