The Need for Data Regarding Educator Shortages

AACTE is partnering with the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) to increase input from educator preparation providers in the organization’s annual teacher supply and demand survey. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

The current shortage of educators is no longer a myth. Data from several reports, including the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) Educator Supply and Demand Report 2016-17, show that in numerous certification areas in most areas of the country, there are not enough well-qualified candidates to fill educator vacancies. And even in states where the demand for full-time teachers is not as severe as in other states, there is a critical shortage of substitute teachers.

For candidates entering education, this means choices in job selection, especially for those who are geographically mobile. For administrators filling positions, the task of staffing each classroom with a qualified educator grows more challenging each year.

Although we in education are acutely aware of our local shortages, each year AAEE seeks to quantify the demand for teachers nationwide by asking professionals in school districts and colleges/universities to provide their perspective of the local job market. These data are critical in providing accurate information to policy makers, future educators, the public, and other stakeholders who should be concerned about the staffing needs in schools across the country.

If the mismatch between supply and demand of educators continues to grow, it could very well become a national crisis. That’s why it’s important to provide current data about the shortage to persuade policy makers to act now rather than wait until the situation becomes even more precarious. Although I don’t intend to incite hysteria with a "sky-is-falling, end-of-the-world" message, this is a call to ask AACTE members to please provide information about the educator market in your area so AAEE is able to accurately report what is happening. AAEE needs to know not only the areas where there are shortages, but areas where the supply meets or exceeds demand.

AAEE is now gathering data for the 2017-18 report. To share your experience with educator supply and demand in your region, please complete the survey using this link. The survey will remain open through January 31, but early respondents who complete it by November 30 will be entered in a drawing for an iPad mini. Survey respondents will also receive an executive summary of the report in spring 2018. If your institution is already a member of AAEE, the primary member has received an invitation to participate.

For more information, please contact Deb Snyder, executive director of AAEE, at

John F. Snyder, associate director of the Office of Career Education and Development at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, prepared this article on behalf of AAEE.

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John F. Snyder

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania