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Mississippi Ed Department Releases 2023-24 Educator Shortage Survey Results 

Results from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) 2023-24 Educator Shortage survey show there are 5,012 vacancies among teachers, administrators, and school support staff across the state, an increase of 24 compared to the 2022-23 school year. 

The survey was conducted by MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading from August 4 – November 15, 2023 and had 100% voluntary participation from school districts. There were 5,503 vacancies reported in 2021-22 and 4,988 in 2022-23. 

Compared to last year, vacancies increased by 182 among teachers, by nine among K-12 licensed educators (library/media, counselors, and speech-language positions), and by 25 among administrators (principals and assistant principals). However, vacancies decreased by 192 among K-12 support staff such as teacher assistants, nurses, custodians, bus drivers, food service staff, and administrative assistants. 

As for the location of teacher vacancies, decreases were noted in Congressional Districts one and four in the northeast and southeast parts of the state. Vacancies increased the most in Congressional District Two in the northwest and central regions. 

Proven strategies to mitigate past educator vacancies through increased teacher recruitment have included acceptance of individuals into the Mississippi Teacher Residency program and removing barriers to educator licensure, including expanding access to alternate-route elementary educator preparation programs and the Performance-Based Licensure program per district request. Additionally, MDE-sponsored events and professional learning opportunities such as the Elevate Teachers Conference remain effective as a strategy for increased teacher retention. 

By evaluating the Educator Shortage survey results along with 2022-23 Teacher Retention survey results, the MDE has identified the following four main strategies to address the current vacancies: 

  • Convene an Educator Workforce Advisory group comprised of Mississippi universities and districts to address current and projected needs.​ 
  • Increase awareness of new elementary education pathways and endorsement options. 
  • Ask the Legislature for support to continue the Mississippi Teacher Residency in geographical critical shortage areas. 
  • Launch the Professional Growth System Observation and Development Portal in Mississippi Educator Career Continuum Archive (MECCA) and the Empowering Educators Workshop. 

To see the 2023-24 Educator Shortage survey results and aligned strategies as presented to the State Board of Education during the February 15 Board meeting, watch the meeting’s livestream. 

Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news. 

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