Media alerts announce another school shooting with lives lost. Another extended teachers’ strike is called to protest inadequate pay. Another round of standardized test results show that American students are falling behind. Another cut made in funds earmarked for public education cripples school districts struggling to keep pace with changing curricula and technology. ISU College of Education Dean James Wolfinger will tell you the regular recurrence of such reports sparks mounting negative sentiments toward the teaching profession as a whole, which results in one more equally troubling headline: America is facing a critical shortage of teachers.
This brief is the first in a series of reports examining the teacher shortage dilemma. Designed to guide state leaders in policy decisions, this policy brief begins the series by considering what the research says about teacher shortages and highlights state task force findings. There are five accompanying briefs examine strategies states are using to address teacher shortages.
The minimum annual salary for public school teachers in Illinois will be raised to $40,000 by the 2023-24 school year under a measure Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law Thursday that is aimed at making a dent in a statewide teacher shortage. The law requires that school districts pay full-time educators at least $32,076 for the 2020-21 school year and ramping up to the $40,000 minimum over the following three school years. The minimum salary would increase in line with the consumer price index after that. (Chicago Tribune)
Teachers and school leaders frequently make decisions about which strategies will best support students who struggle academically or behaviorally, but evidence-based information about the quality of these strategies is not always available. Moreover, educators do not always find the available evidence to be useful, and they consider a variety of other factors to be relevant to these decisions. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides new opportunities to use federal funds to support interventions (i.e., programs, practices, or strategies) that address not only academic achievement but also students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs. (RAND Corporation)