Policy Report

A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S.

Teacher and students working on a project on an interactive screen.
Leib Sutcher, Linda Darling-Hammond, Desiree Carver-Thomas
September 2016 | Learning Policy Institute
Teacher and students working on a project on an interactive screen.

This report by the Learning Policy Institute details the outcomes of a national analysis of the sources and extent of teacher shortages, as well as national and regional trends in teacher supply and demand. Using several federal databases, the authors examine the current context and model projections of future trends under several different assumptions about factors influencing supply and demand, including new entrants, re-entrants, projected hires, and attrition rates. They also investigate policy strategies that might mitigate these effects based on research about effective approaches to recruitment and retention.

The report provides the following research-driven policy recommendations: (1) creating competitive, equitable compensation packages; (2) enhancing the supply of qualified teachers for high-need fields and locations through training subsidies and high-retention pathways; (3) improving teacher retention through improved mentoring, induction, working conditions, and career development; and (4) developing a national teacher supply market.