Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
NEA News

The Teacher Shortage Could Be Worse Than You Thought

A new report finds that the deficit that is “much more of an acute problem in high-poverty schools."
Published: 08/09/2019

While the teacher shortage is being felt across many states and school districts, its impact is not shared equally along socioeconomic lines, according to a new paper by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Probably the most critical resource denied to many students is an experienced, fully certified teacher—a deficit that is “much more of an acute problem in high-poverty schools,” said EPI economist Emma García. “These shortages threaten students’ ability to learn and reduce teachers’ effectiveness, and high teacher turnover consumes economic resources that could be better deployed elsewhere.”

Credentials of Teachers in Low-and High-Poverty Schools
Source: Economic Policy Institute

The EPI paper also finds that the established link between strong credentials and retention weakens in high-poverty schools, as attrition drains these schools of qualified teachers at a greater rate.

“We argue that when issues such as teacher quality and the unequal distribution of highly qualified teachers across schools serving different concentrations of low-income students are taken into consideration, the teacher shortage problem is much more severe than previously thought,” the EPI report said.

National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.