Which states are being hit the hardest by teacher shortages right now?

Teachers unions have been striking since the start of the school year demanding higher pay and suitable working conditions. As more educators turn their backs on the profession, the vacancy issue only worsens.

As districts near the halfway mark of the nation’s first “normal” school year since the pandemic, one thing continues to create headaches for K-12 schools: teacher vacancies.

Several states have found this issue to be especially troublesome this academic year after. Virginia, for example, has recently found that it’s losing more educators than it is gaining due to a variety of concerns shared by many teachers struggling to find content with the current state of education, such as low pay and student behavior.

Simply finding qualified candidates is another issue. “I’m surprised when we get an application from a fully qualified teacher,” said one division human resources director in the Virginia report from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

Teachers unions across the country have been going on strikes since the start of the school year demanding higher pay and suitable working conditions, and their concerns are justified. As more educators turn their backs on the profession, the vacancy issue only worsens.

According to an October report from Scholaroo, an organization that aids students in seeking scholarships, some states are facing much greater teacher vacancies than others. For example, Florida’s teacher-population ratio is the lowest in the country with only 6.54 teachers per 1,000 population. Conversely, North Dakota has 13.13 teachers per 1,000 population, the highest in the country according to the rankings.

Here’s how each state ranks according to teacher vacancies from worst to best:

  1. Florida: 6.54 teachers per 1,000 population.
  2. Oregon: 7.09 teachers per 1,000 population.
  3. California: 7.48 teachers per 1,000 population.
  4. Nevada: 7.59 teachers per 1,000 population.
  5. Hawaii: 7.81 teachers per 1,000 population.
  6. Michigan: 8.13 teachers per 1,000 population.
  7. Washington: 8.15 teachers per 1,000 population.
  8. Arizona: 8.53 teachers per 1,000 population.
  9. Kentucky: 8.84 teachers per 1,000 population.
  10. Tennessee: 8.89 teachers per 1,000 population.
  11. North Carolina: 8.90 teachers per 1,000 population.
  12. Idaho: 8.91 teachers per 1,000 population.
  13. Utah: 9.02 teachers per 1,000 population.
  14. Indiana: 9.14 teachers per 1,000 population.
  15. Alabama: 9.22 teachers per 1,000 population.
  16. Pennsylvania: 9.25 teachers per 1,000 population.
  17. Minnesota: 9.41 teachers per 1,000 population.
  18. Wisconsin: 9.49 teachers per 1,000 population.
  19. Ohio: 9.62 teachers per 1,000 population.
  20. Montana: 9.68 teachers per 1,000 population.
  21. Delaware: 9.83 teachers per 1,000 population.
  22. South Carolina: 9.83 teachers per 1,000 population.
  23. New Mexico: 9.84 teachers per 1,000 population.
  24. Colorado: 9.90 teachers per 1,000 population.
  25. Rhode Island: 9.92 teachers per 1,000 population.
  26. Maryland: 10.06 teachers per 1,000 population.
  27. Illinois: 10.29 teachers per 1,000 population.
  28. Louisiana: 10.37 teachers per 1,000 population.
  29. Alaska: 10.46 teachers per 1,000 population.
  30. West Virginia: 10.49 teachers per 1,000 population.
  31. Arkansas: 10.57 teachers per 1,000 population.
  32. Mississippi: 10.71 teachers per 1,000 population.
  33. New York: 10.73 teachers per 1,000 population.
  34. Massachusetts: 10.76 teachers per 1,000 population.
  35. Georgia: 10.82 teachers per 1,000 population.
  36. Maine: 10.86 teachers per 1,000 population.
  37. Oklahoma: 10.86 teachers per 1,000 population.
  38. South Dakota: 10.90 teachers per 1,000 population.
  39. Connecticut: 11.56 teachers per 1,000 population.
  40. Virginia: 11.78 teachers per 1,000 population.
  41. Iowa: 11.81 teachers per 1,000 population.
  42. New Hampshire: 11.92 teachers per 1,000 population.
  43. Kansas: 12.11 teachers per 1,000 population.
  44. Missouri: 12.23 teachers per 1,000 population.
  45. Texas: 12.30 teachers per 1,000 population.
  46. Wyoming: 12.58 teachers per 1,000 population.
  47. New Jersey: 12.72 teachers per 1,000 population.
  48. Vermont: 12.89 teachers per 1,000 population.
  49. Nebraska: 12.90 teachers per 1,000 population.
  50. North Dakota: 13.13 teachers per 1,000 population.

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Micah Ward
Micah Wardhttp://districtadministration.com
Micah Ward is a District Administration staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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