This article originally appeared on Inside Higher Ed.
As the school year gets underway, a national teacher shortage has K-12 districts scrambling and job boards lengthening. The president of the National Education Association called the lack of classroom teachers a “five-alarm crisis.” Some students are returning to full-time in-person learning only to find their instructors teaching through screens, often from hundreds of miles away. Many teachers are overburdened by large classes, and in some cases, they are teaching without a degree. Some districts will start the school year with a four-day week to accommodate a lack of staff.
The flow of new teachers through the pipeline has slowed to a trickle, in part due to years of declining enrollment in education programs. Now higher education institutions are looking for ways to reverse what has become an alarming national trend.