Executive Summary

Key Finding: Although the teacher shortage is felt nationally, the magnitude of its impact varies depending on geographical region.

In the fall of 2022, the Frontline Research and Learning Institute published a two-part series detailing national trends in K-12 hiring. The second part of the series titled, The State of the Instructional Teacher Shortage, reported that supply, defined as the number of job seekers who applied to a job posting, rather than demand, defined as the number of open positions resulting from current employees leaving the profession, is the primary driver of the current K-12 instructional staff shortage. Since that publication, the teacher shortage persists in mainstream news headlines suggesting that the impact to K-12 hiring across the nation is ongoing.

More recently, K-12 education researchers have acknowledged the nuanced nature of the labor shortage and have begun to examine it through a multi-layered lens. Previously, a majority of conversations have analyzed the shortage at the macro level and presented it as a universal, national situation. However, new research points to the merits of micro level analysis, suggesting that it may manifest differently depending on the geographical region and/or state in which it occurs.

The findings of these analyses suggest that the severity of the teacher shortage may depend on local rather than national factors. This research brief aims to analyze teacher shortage trends in the same manner as previous Frontline Research & Learning Institute research: exploring the relationships between K-12 teacher candidate supply and demand over time. However, it compares these trends at the regional instead of national level to provide a more detailed account of a complex, locale-dependent experience.

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