School districts across Indiana are having trouble finding people to fill open teaching positions as the number of first-time teacher licenses issued by the state has dropped by 63 percent in recent years.
The Indiana Department of Education reports the state issued 16,578 licenses to first-time teachers, including teachers with licenses in multiple subject areas, in the 2009-2010 school year. That number dropped to 6,174 for the 2013-14 school year, the most recent for which data were available, the Greensburg Daily News reported.
The dwindling pool of educators is raising alarm in some school districts as they struggle to fill open positions, especially in math, science and foreign languages.
And of course these shortages are going to continue for some time as people don't want to go to college in order to be teachers anymore. Can you blame them after the way Republicans treat education?
“It has become a real struggle,” Decatur County Community Schools Superintendent Johnny Budd told the Greensburg Daily News. “The pool of applicants is definitely dried up.”
School leaders say state funding constraints, testing pressures and a blame-the-teachers mentality have steered people away from education as a career.
Many education programs have seen their enrollments drop in recent years.
Enrollment in Ball State University’s elementary and kindergarten teacher-preparation programs has fallen 45 percent in the last decade. Other schools are reporting similar declines.
Denise Collins, associate dean with the College of Education at Indiana State University, said enrollment there has fallen 7 percent, and the number of students completing an education degree has dropped 13 percent.
Demand for qualified teachers is higher than ever, and yet across the country we're seeing school districts in red states slashing salaries, removing tenure protections, and driving teachers into retirement. Now there aren't enough teachers to fill those teaching jobs.
What did you think was going to happen, red state America?