The Ultimate List of Teacher Shortages by State in 2024

Devlin Peck
. Updated on 
April 30, 2024
Teacher shortage by state thumbnail

What is the average teacher shortage by state?

If you’re looking for research-backed statistics explaining which states are lacking in educators, you’re in the right place.

We’re sharing teacher shortage statistics state by state — plus, sharing all the related information possible.

What state has the highest teacher shortage?

And what are the best states for teachers?

That’s what you’ll learn today.

Scroll on for the ultimate list!

The most important teacher shortages statistics

(Sources: EducationWeek, National Center for Education Statistics, US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Is there a teacher shortage in 2024?

In short, yes. And it’s not that surprising considering just 12% of teachers are satisfied with their jobs. Meanwhile, more than four in 10 teachers admitted they were likely to leave their job within two years.

The nationwide shortage has put so much pressure on certain school districts, they have resorted to non-traditional concepts to attract and retain teachers, like four-day school weeks, debt-pay-off programs, or cost-free and fast-track certifications for employment.

Please note some data may be incomplete as various school districts do not report their staffing metrics or reported data may be outdated. Real-time or year-over-year data of this is not available.

What states have the highest teacher shortage?

Curious what states have the lowest chance of filling their teacher quota and staff education positions? This list is based on student-teacher ratios in public schools.

The top 10 states with the highest teacher shortage are:

  1. Nevada
  2. Utah
  3. Arizona
  4. California
  5. Florida
  6. Alaska
  7. Idaho
  8. Ohio
  9. Oregon
  10. Alabama

(Source: Scholaroo)

What states have the lowest teacher shortage?

So, what are the best states for teachers and their students? This list is also based on student-teacher ratios.

The top 10 states with the lowest teacher shortage are:

  1. Vermont
  2. New Hampshire
  3. North Dakota
  4. New York
  5. Missouri
  6. Maine
  7. New Jersey
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Connecticut
  10. Nebraska

(Source: Scholaroo)

Teacher shortages in the Northeast (New England & Middle Atlantic)


(Connecticut State Board of Education)

A survey from Connecticut’s board of teachers revealed a need for 1,322 professional vacancies and 1,221 teaching vacancies across the small state. This equated to approximately 71% of the 36 surveyed school districts having teaching vacancies. Math and science were among the most needed positions.


(News Center Maine)

In 2022, Maine reported losing a substantial 1,200 school employees. As a result, the state began hiring people without a degree, as long as they passed a background check. There are now over 200 educators of that nature across the state.


(WBUR & CBS News)

Approximately 48% of districts in the Northeast reported feeling understaffed for the 2023 school year. That summer, the state education board of Massachusetts amended licensing regulations in order to create an easier pathway to employ more teachers. In the city of Boston, there were 900 positions available, with 219 teacher vacancies in the city alone. One website reported 5,151 teaching jobs available across the state.

New Hampshire

(New Hampshire Department of Education)

Unlike other states, New Hampshire education leaders report their shortage has not worsened. In fact, they renewed 8,154 educator credentials in 2023, the third-highest in the past decade. Of the 54 districts who provided data, only 21 identified having critical staffing shortages.

Rhode Island

(10 WJAR)

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S. with just over 1 million people, and unfortunately far fewer teachers. Due to a state retirement incentive placed back in the 1990’s, many of today’s teachers are retiring - and happy to do so. In 2022, Providence, the largest city in the state, had 57 retirements and 267 resignations. The city filled 392 positions, but “it’s not nearly enough.”


(My Champlain Valley & VTdigger)

The turnover rate for teachers in Vermont last year was 31%. That was 11% higher than “any other year we’ve got data on.” Statewide, approximately 7% of teachers are working on temporary licenses that allow persons to teach while they pursue a permanent certification. This figure doubled over the past 5 years.

Teacher shortages in the Midwest (North Central)



The state released information sharing that there were 3,558 unfilled teaching positions as of the end of 2022. These vacancies spanned across Illinois’ 170 districts, affecting 870,000 students. As a result the state utilized over $6 million in federal funding to advertise and develop a statewide teacher recruitment campaign.


(Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Indiana has roughly 1,800 vacancies across the state, and like most other states, many of these jobs are STEM-related. The Indiana Department of Education’s school personnel job bank currently has 2,443 open job positions.



Michigan is among the leaders in combating their teacher shortage issue. The state exceeds the national trend of growth in enrollment in educator preparation programs, rising 30% compared to the nation’s 7% average.


(Ohio Education Association)

Ohio saw a significant drop in teachers across the state. In 2022, there were 17,000 fewer people employed in K-12 Ohio public schools than in 2019. The state’s education workforce is now 6% smaller than it was just 3 years ago.


(Up North News)

One Wisconsin district said they used to receive 75 applications for a regular elementary teacher position and now they receive 8 to 10. There are 64,000 teachers across the state now, but they say it’s not enough to overcome Wisconsin’s teacher shortage. In 2022, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued 3,197 emergency teaching licenses.


(Axios Des Moines)

The state of Iowa seems to be handling their shortage, as 98% of teacher vacancies were filled this year. This comes in conjunction with the approval of a 3% pay increase for 2024.


(Kansas Reflector)

In the fall of 2022, the Kansas Department of Education reported 1,620 teacher vacancies. There has been a 7.5% decline since 2015 in Kansas teacher education enrollment.



Nearly 9 in 10 Minnesota school districts report being “somewhat significantly” (84%) or “very significantly” (89%) impacted by the state’s teacher shortage. Over 92% of all teaching assignments are filled by teachers who hold the appropriate professional license for that assignment. However, nearly a third of new teachers leave teaching within the first five years.


(Missouri Department of Education)

A statewide report revealed 2,184 elementary education vacancies, 983 vacancies in special education and 291 physical education vacancies. Of those total vacancies, only 4.4% were filled with less than fully certified teachers.


(Nebraska Department of Education)

A recent survey found that the school districts of Nebraska reported 238 unfilled teaching positions, with 44 left vacant from the previous academic year. Of those vacancies, 38 were in districts with less than 500 students.

North Dakota

(Grand Forks Herald)

A new report showed that North Dakota had an estimated 167 teaching vacancies along with 330 people teaching in an irregular capacity. This shortage was critical enough, North Dakota passed a law allowing student teachers to lead classrooms, as covered in Forbes.

South Dakota

(Dakota News Now)

South Dakota is faring well compared to other states. In early 2023, The Associated School Boards of South Dakota estimated about 515 open teaching positions. At the end of the year, there are only 183 open positions statewide, a vast improvement.

Teacher shortages in the South (Southeast, South Central)


(ABC News 33/40)

Alabama has experienced a teacher shortage, but it’s improving. In fall 2022, there was a shortage of 300 special education teachers, 104 early education, and 183 elementary, but recent pay increases have attracted more new teachers. A reported 8% of teachers leave the profession every year.



Arkansas has faced a teacher shortage for decades. 4% of teachers statewide are uncertified (double the nation’s average for 1.7%) and another 3% of teachers teach outside their field. In certain districts, these percentages are as high as 56%, respectively.


(Delaware Online)

A news outlet reported that of the 19 public school districts across Delaware, there were over 500 open teaching positions, representing about 5% of total state teaching jobs. This is partially due to an unprecedented 7% spike in student enrollment and “higher-than-normal” retirements.


(Florida Department of Education)

As of September 2022, Florida districts reported 4,440 teacher vacancies. The larger state employs approximately 185,000 teachers, meaning vacancies only reached 2.4%. Florida’s teacher shortage rate equates to roughly 1.2 openings per school, less than half of the nation’s average of 3 openings per school.


(Fox 5 Atlanta)

The Georgia Department of education released findings that the state’s teacher retention has dropped over the past two years, now below 90%. Another survey shared that approximately 31% of educators are unlikely or highly unlikely to remain in education for another five years.



The number of teaching job postings has increased in Kentucky over the past decade, but on average, just 83.5% of those postings are filled. The teacher turnover rate in Kentucky from 2020-2021 was 16.2%.



The state of Louisiana is in need of over 2,520 teachers, forcing the southern state to get creative in recruiting new educators. The State Auditor reported Louisiana has the fifth highest rate of uncertified teachers, 9% and is fourth in the country for new teachers. Nearly 16% of Louisiana teachers are within their first two years of teaching.


(Maryland State Department of Education)

There are over 2,000 teaching vacancies in Maryland and this number is growing. Meanwhile, total enrollment in Maryland’s Educator Preparation programs has declined by 33%. 13.3% of those who taught in 2020-2021 did not return to teach the following year.


(Mississippi Department of Education)

A Mississippi 2022-23 survey reported 4,988 teacher vacancies this year, 515 fewer compared than last year’s 5,503 job openings. Elementary school teacher vacancies were the highest, at 822 jobs that needed filling.

North Carolina

(North Carolina Justice Center)

The beginning of the 2023 academic school year started with 5,095 classrooms vacant. That means one in every 18 North Carolina classrooms lacked an appropriately licensed teacher. The midyear turnover increased from under 4% to over 6% comparing 2020-21 to 2021-22.


(KOCO News 5)

In 2022, Oklahoma experienced the highest teacher turnover rate in a decade: 24%. In 2012, the state gave out 32 emergency teacher certifications. By October 2023, Oklahoma had already granted 4,451 for that year alone.

South Carolina

(SC Annual Educator Supply and Demand Reports)

A survey of 76 schools across South Carolina revealed a 9% increase in teacher vacancies for the 2023-24 school year. This equates to roughly 1,613 teacher vacancies across the state, compared to 1,474 last year. On average, over 7,000 South Carolina public school teachers leave their jobs each year.


(WVLT 8)

Tennessee faced a teacher vacancy of over 2,000 going into the 2022-23 school year. This led Tennessee to create “Grow Your Own,” one of the nation’s first federally approved apprenticeship programs to employ teachers with zero experience and no-cost pathways.


(Dallas Morning News)

Over 8,600 Texas teachers have retired since 2021, leaving a critical teacher shortage. Last year, Texas hired over 15,300 new teachers lacking adequate Texas certification. To benchmark, less than 2,300 teachers like this were hired in 2010. This is extra concerning since only 37% of uncertified teachers stay working after five years, compared to 67% of those who studied education.


(Virginia Department of Education)

Earlier this year, Virginia reported a shortage of 3,573 teachers during the 2022-23 school year. The state has implemented numerous incentives to attract and retain teaching talent like hiring bonuses and continuing education via a support grant, resulting in over 90% of teachers responding that they would likely return to their jobs in 2023-24.

West Virginia

(West Virginia Department of Education)

The state of West Virginia estimates there are roughly 1,500 vacancies in certified teacher positions across the state. Their public school system reported 1,544 teachers are currently placed in positions who are not fully certified for the job.

Teacher shortages in the West (Mountain & Pacific)


(Anchorage Daily News)

With only 7,400 teachers statewide, Alaska has reported 1,100 openings. To put this on a smaller scale, the 2,000 student North Slope Borough School District was trying to fill 50 teaching jobs. With a full staff, they only employ 170. That’s a teacher shortage of 29%!


(Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association)

According to the ASPAA, 2023 was Arizona’s 7th year in a row with a shortage of educators. Data reports that over 25% of these teacher vacancies remain unfulfilled, while 44% are filled with teachers who do not meet the state’s standard certification requirements.



The large state of California reported more than 10,000 teacher vacancies during the 2021-22 school year. Last year, there were 16,491 teaching credentials issued, a 16% decline from the previous year. Experts say California elementary schools are feeling the shortage the most.


(Colorado Department of Education)

Colorado needed to fill nearly 9,700 teaching and education positions for the 2022-23 school year. This teacher shortage statistic represented 15% of all teaching positions in the state. Of the total 8,294 teaching positions, 9% remained unfilled for the entire school year and another 18% was filled through shortage methods, like hiring under qualified workers.


(Honolulu Civil Beat)

Hawaii’s latest efforts to recruit teachers has yielded promising results. There are just 300 teacher vacancies across the island state, compared to over 1,000 last year. About 1,200 teachers retire or leave the Hawaii public school system each year.


(Idaho State Board of Education)

The latest data from Idaho showed that as of May 2022, there were around 900 teacher vacancies statewide. This number dropped to just 134 in 2023. Of these 134 job openings, 68% are in Special Education and the other 87% in math and science.


(REL Northwest)

Montana is an especially hard state to staff teachers as 61% of Montana schools are in rural-remote areas. 62% of school subject areas were considered difficult or unable to fill teacher jobs. Turnover is prevalent too: 4% moved to a different school system and 9% left the school system altogether.


(96.3 KKLZ)

What state has the highest teacher shortage? Nevada. Their teacher to student ratio state averages 43.65 teachers to every 1,000 students, ranking 50th behind Utah, Arizona, and California. Nevada’s teacher turnover rate spiked too, from 9% last year to 12% this year.

New Mexico

(New Mexico Educator Vacancy Report)

A statewide report shows that New Mexico has 1,344 educator vacancies with 690 teacher vacancies. Across the 89 school districts studied, this was an increase in vacancies from the previous year. There was a decrease of 358 teachers, roughly 34% from the previous report.


(KOIN 6)

The exact teacher shortage in Oregon is difficult to decipher, however it’s clear that there is a shortage across the state. Portland Public Schools reported over​ 200 educator vacancies, 80 of which are teaching positions in core subjects.


(University of Utah)

Utah has approximately 30,000 teachers to educate its K-12 students, but it’s not enough. 13% of Utah teachers were underqualified for their roles during the 2022-23 school year. Utah teacher retention rates are similar to other states, staying around 90% the last five years.


(My Northwest)

Washington ranks 12th in the nation for the highest teacher shortage. A state report showed 1.6% more teachers switched careers in 2021, losing Washington around 1,000 teachers. 2022 marked a 37-year high in loss of teaching staff.


(Wyoming Business Report)

With a turnover rate of around 11%, Wyoming is struggling to keep its base of 7,400 full-time teachers staffed. A recent report revealed that Wyoming school districts replace around 500 positions annually, leaving a gap of 300 teachers each year.

Over to you!

There you have it! Those are the most important statistics on teacher shortage by state.

Teacher shortage is a real issue and an increasing number of teachers are quitting the profession because of it.

Read more in our articles on why teachers quit and what they do instead:



National Center for Education Statistics


US Bureau of Labor Statistics


National Center for Education Statistics


Connecticut State Board of Education

News Center Maine


CBS News

New Hampshire Department of Education


VT Digger

Indiana Capital Chronical

Ohio Education Association

Up North News

Axios Des Moines

Kansas Reflector

Missouri Department of Education

Nebraska Department of Education

Grand Forks Herald

Dakota News Now

ABC News 33/40


Delaware Online

Florida Department of Education

Fox 5 Atlanta



Maryland State Department of Education

Mississippi Department of Education

North Carolina Justice Center

KOCO News 5

SC Annual Educator Supply and Demand Reports


Dallas Morning News

Virginia Department of Education

West Virginia Department of Education

Anchorage Daily News

Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association

Honolulu Civil Beat

Idaho State Board of Education

REL Northwest

96.3 KKLZ

New Mexico Educator Vacancy Report


University of Utah

My Northwest

Wyoming Business Report

Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck is the founder of, where he helps people build instructional design skills and break into the industry. He previously worked as a freelance instructional designer and graduated from Florida State University.
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