15 Teacher Shortage Statistics (2024)

Devlin Peck
. Updated on 
June 29, 2024
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Classrooms across the nation are dealing with a critical issue: teacher shortages.

In this article, you’ll learn:

…And more.

Want to learn more? Read on!

The most important teacher shortages statistics

Is there a teacher shortage in 2024?

1. 86% of public schools are struggling to hire educators

(USA Today, EdWeek)

A survey of more than 1,300 K-12 schools across the nation was conducted in mid-August of last year to predict how the 2023-2024 academic year would unfold regarding teacher shortages.

High poverty districts are continuing to report vast understaffing, but other districts are up from last year - 45% feeling understaffed compared to the 53% reported last year.

Hiring teachers of color is another issue entirely. Only 20% of the teaching workforce are those of color, despite the fact that over half of students are people of color. This matters when considering research has proven that teachers of color provide both academic and social-emotional benefits for all students.

2. 35% of teachers are ‘fairly likely’ to leave teaching in the next two years


While over one-third of teachers (35%) sounds like a lot, this number is down from last year when 44% of teachers planned to leave the education industry. Why is this number improving? Going into 2024, more teachers now say that the general public is respecting them more and treating them as professionals, despite ongoing cultural conflicts amidst schools.

3. 35% of public schools are “extremely concerned” about finding substitute teachers


Going into the 2024 school year, the average attendance rate for students in public schools is 90%. This is concerning given the fact that over one-third (35%) of public schools are “extremely concerned” when it comes to sourcing substitutes. To add to the problem, 41% of public schools indicate having a shortage of food service staff.

4. Understaffing in high-poverty neighborhoods is worse, persisting at 57% from last year to 2024

(USA Today)

Teachers aren’t the only occupation dealing with shortages surrounding public schools. In fact, only 8% of schools say finding a bus driver is an “easy” job to find workers for. In the 2022-23 year, 51% of schools reported bus driver vacancies. Good news: this number decreased to 39% for the 2023-24 academic year.

What’s the leading cause of the teacher shortage?

5. 62% of teachers don’t want their own children to become teachers

(National Education Association)

It’s tragic when one is so unsatisfied with their career that they wish their own children do not follow their path. A recent survey revealed that more than 6 in 10 teachers don’t want their children to become teachers themselves. Why? The top reasons cited were “inadequate pay” and “benefits.”

These very reasons may explain the hiring gap that’s been occurring since 2017. The job openings in public education began to outpace hires in the industry that year, but this gap has significantly widened since 2020. Now, the hiring gap is less than 1 hire to each vacancy created. In 2022 was the worst, reported at .55 hires for each teacher opening.

6. American teacher weekly salaries have increased just $29 in 28 years

(Economic Policy Institute)

Inflation seems to be affecting all Americans, but it has hit teachers dramatically. The average weekly wages of teachers has been nearly flat since 1996. That means in approximately 28 years, teacher salaries have barely been adjusted for inflation. Just look at the figures:

From 1996 to 2021, a teacher’s average weekly salary increased just $29. Compared to other college graduates, their average weekly salary during this same time period increased $445.

7. Teachers earn 23.5% less than comparable college graduates

(Economic Policy Institute)

Usually, teachers have a degree, but lately many districts are bypassing qualified candidates to fast-track people into teaching positions. So to compare teachers who have college educations with other comparable college graduates is fair. However, college grads who do not pursue teaching earn almost one-quarter more.

This relative teacher wage “penalty” is over 20% in a reported 28 states. To put it bluntly, there are teachers in 28 states who are paid less than 80 cents on the dollar compared to those with a similar college education. This wage penalty spans from 2.4% in Rhode Island to 35.9% in Colorado.

8. 67% of teachers say a pay raise would help support them most


In the end, pay is the top reason teachers are done with teaching. A recent survey asked teachers, “What steps could your district or school take to support your mental well-being?”

A majority 67% agreed that a pay raise would help. Another 62% agreed that smaller class sizes would help them, while another 62% are wanting more support for student discipline-related issues.

How many teachers quit last year?

9. 51,000 teachers and other educational staff quit their jobs in 2023


In November 2023, approximately 51,000 educators quit within the United States. This marks the highest point since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2022. How did this exodus affect schools?

10. Teacher turnover was 12% during the 2022-23 school year, predicted to decline this academic year

(Teachershortages.com, EdWeek)

This website dedicated to reporting the current state of teacher shortages estimates there are at least 55,000 vacant positions and 270,000 underqualified positions right now in 2024. This is after teacher turnover rose to a historical high of 14% two years ago. Their prediction was that this cited 14% would decline to 12% for the 2022-23 school year, and furthermore improve for the 2023-24 school year. According to EdWeek, there are 36,500 vacant teacher positions.

11. 44% of public-school students started the 2023-24 academic year behind a grade level in at least one subject


The lack of teachers is affecting students. Almost half of students are behind in at least one subject, which is lower than in the previous two school years. This same survey cited that about 37% of public schools are operating with a minimum of 1 teaching vacancy, while another 45% of public schools are operating with at least 1 non-teaching vacancy.

What states and subjects have the highest (and lowest) teacher shortages?

It’s no wonder that the nation is dealing with a serious teacher shortage problem, but what states have the lowest chance of filling these positions? According to student-teacher ratios, the top 5 states with the highest teacher shortage are Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California, and Florida.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the states with the lowest teacher shortage are: Vermont, New Hampshire, North Dakota, New York, and Missouri.

So, what subjects are struggling to find teachers?

12. 45 states are expecting teacher shortages in special education, mathematics, and/or science

(U.S. Department of Education & National Education Association)

Among the 50 states, an overwhelming 45 are expecting shortages in these three vital subjects. Meanwhile, at least 30 states are also expecting teacher shortages in language arts, world languages, career and technical education, English as a second language (ESL), social studies, and/or physical fitness. Another 27 states are reporting a shortage of support staff.

Is it worth being a teacher in 2024?

13. The share of teachers who are “very satisfied” with their jobs has almost doubled to 20% in the past year


What is the future of teacher shortages? Well, things are looking up. Post COVID, teachers nationwide became increasingly frustrated with work letting satisfaction figures drop as low as just 12%. Thankfully, this figure has nearly doubled to 20% in 2023. At the same time, the number of teachers who are planning to leave their job has decreased from 44% to 35%.

14. There will be over 109,000 openings for kindergarten and elementary school teachers each year, projected over the decade

(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

During the forecasted period of 2022 to 2032, kindergarten and elementary school teacher job openings are projected to remain stagnant - which is great news for anyone looking to enter the field. This is especially good news considering the number of students enrolling into these younger-aged schools is expected to decrease over this same decade.

15. Teacher mentorship jobs are a great way for teachers to earn extra money in 2024 and onward

(National Council on Teacher Equality)

How can we solve the teacher shortage? Maybe teacher mentoring is an option.

A survey looking at 140 districts nationwide revealed that 42% of school districts require two or more years of mentoring. So, who’s mentoring teachers? Other teachers - and they’re now getting paid for it.

For example, Boston Public Schools adds an additional 5% above their base salary to those mentoring. This means a teacher with a bachelor's degree and five years of experience would receive $4,400, while a teacher with a master's and 10 years of experience would earn $5,500.

Another current example is Des Moines Public Schools offering a $2,500 annual stipend for one mentee and an additional $1,500 for a second mentee.

Over to you!

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

Teachers are leaving the profession – and there are clear reasons why.

If you want to learn more about teacher shortages, take a look at these articles:


USA Today




National Education Association

Economic Policy Institute



U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

National Council on Teacher Equality

Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck
Devlin Peck is the founder of DevlinPeck.com, 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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