Building the K-12 Teaching Workforce

Despite the many obstacles on the path to growing the K-12 teaching workforce, much work is being done in this area. As the demand for qualified educators has increased, states, organizations, school districts, and colleges and universities have been working to improve not only access to the profession, but also school working conditions in order to better recruit and retain K-12 teachers.

The Learning Policy Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving education policy and practice, advocates for continued work in this area. Some of its specific recommendations include:

● Creating competitive, equitable compensation packages that allow teachers to make a reasonable living across all communities, such as offering competitive salaries in districts with high-need students and creating incentives such as housing and childcare supports

● Enhancing the supply of qualified teachers for high-need fields and locations through targeted training subsidies and high-retention pathways by offering forgivable loans and service scholarships, creating career pathways and “grow your own” programs, and establishing teacher residency models for hard-to-staff districts

● Improving teacher retention, especially in hard-to-staff schools, through improved mentoring, working conditions, and career development by establishing strong and universally available induction programs, creating productive school environments by ensuring administrative support and professional development, and strengthening principal training programs

● Developing a national teacher supply market that can facilitate getting and keeping teachers in the places they are needed over the course of their careers by supporting teacher mobility and removing interstate barriers to connect states with surpluses to those with shortages