Teacher Shortages and Surpluses

Teacher Preparation Policy

Teacher Shortages and Surpluses

The state should inform district hiring needs with key teacher supply and demand data and make teacher mobility data publicly available at the district level. This goal was reorganized in 2021.

Best practices

Although no state is awarded "best practice" honors, NCTQ would like to commend Illinois, for its triennial report, Educator Supply and Demand in Illinois. This document uses information on the number of program completers and past hiring trends to determine areas of greatest need. Unfilled position data is used to identify regional shortages (i.e., where supply has not met local demand). These data are compared with educator production and an analysis presents data on areas for which institutions may be producing too many or too few educators. Delaware and Oklahoma are commended for the teacher mobility data they make publicly available.
Delaware publishes data at the school, district and state level for early career, experienced and all teachers. Oklahoma provides turnover rates by licensure area for each region. The sources of turnover are also provided, which include: retirement, voluntary pre-retirement leavers and voluntary movers. Data are also presented of "leavers" and "movers" by region.

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2021). Teacher Shortages and Surpluses national results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/national/Teacher-Shortages-and-Surpluses-89
Best practice 0


Meets goal 0


Nearly meets goal 7


Meets goal in part 15


Meets a small part of goal 14


Does not meet goal 15


Do states track the supply of teachers and alignment with demand for new teachers?

Add previous year
Figure details

Yes. State publishes data that connect the teacher supply to district hiring needs. : IL

Partially. State publishes some relevant teacher supply data and/or district hiring data, but does not connect these data to highlight teacher shortage and surplus areas. : AR, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, NC, ND, NE, NJ, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY

No. State does not publish relevant data regarding teacher supply. : AK, AL, AZ, CT, DC, MD, ME, MS, MT, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, SC, VT, WV

CT: The Educator Preparation Provider Data Dashboard is not yet available.
NM: Data is not yet publicly available.

Do states make teacher mobility data at the district level publicly available?

Add previous year
Figure details

Yes: CO, DE, GA, HI, KY, LA, MA, MI, NC, NJ, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT

No : AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DC, FL, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MD, ME, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NH, NM, NV, NY, OH, PA, RI, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, WY

NJ: One-year retention rates of teachers and administrators within a district, and the percentage of teachers with four or more years of experience in the district.
WV: Teacher mobility hasn't been updated since 2014-2015.

Updated: March 2021

How we graded

1B: Teacher Shortages and Surpluses

  • Teacher Supply and Demand Data: The state publicly reports data that connects teacher program supply data to district-level demand data to identify areas of shortage and surplus.
  • Teacher Mobility Data: The state tracks, and makes public, teacher mobility data.
Teacher Supply and Demand Data
Three-quarters of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • Three-quarters credit: The state will earn three-quarters of a point if it publishes data that connect educator preparation program supply data to district-level hiring data to identify areas of shortage and surplus.
  • One-half credit: The state will earn one-half of a point if it publishes teacher production and district/regional hiring data, but does not explicitly connect the two to explicitly identify areas of shortage and surplus.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it publishes teacher production data or district/regional hiring data.
Teacher Mobility Data
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if teacher mobility data are tracked and made publicly available at the district level, consistent with applicable privacy constraints.

Research rationale

It is an inefficient use of resources for individual districts to build their own data systems for tracking teachers. States need to take the lead and provide districts with state-level data that can be used not only for the purpose of measuring teacher effectiveness, but also to gauge the supply and demand of teachers in the state.[1] Furthermore, multiple years of data are necessary to identify staffing trends.

Many preparation programs graduate people who are certified to teach but do not get jobs in the classroom. Often times, this is because these teachers pursue certifications in areas that already have a surplus of teachers (e.g., elementary education), while districts struggle to find applicants to hire in other areas (e.g., special education, science).[2] Given this misalignment between the teachers that teacher preparation programs produce and the hiring needs of school districts, the state should step in to establish a cohesive data reporting system. By creating reports that publicly delineate the number of teachers produced by each teacher preparation program (and therefore by certification area), the state will be better able to identify instances where the production of teachers does not match districts' needs.

Furthermore, the state should consider whether teacher preparation programs are supplying districts with the teachers they need when approving or re-approving programs. Teacher preparation programs exist primarily to prepare teachers for public school positions (approximately 88 percent of teachers work in public schools).[3] If teacher preparation programs produce far more teachers than the state needs in some certification areas and far too few in others, the programs are failing to meeting their state's demand. Moreover, student teaching placements (which tend to be near candidates' teacher prep programs) are highly predictive of where candidates will get their first teaching jobs, therefore also allowing states the ability to predict which open positions are likely to be filled.[4] Given that the preparation program's function is to supply the nearby area (and more generally, the state) with public school teachers, it is incumbent upon the state to make sure the program fulfills that responsibility, particularly through the collection and application of data on teacher production numbers and district demand.

Additional elements are needed to use data to assess teacher supply and demand. For example, states should include in their data systems means of tracking when teachers leave schools or districts, as well as when they re-enter new ones, and should make these data publicly available. These data can support the state's effort to build a cohesive picture of the state's teacher labor market and workforce needs.

[1] Cowan, J., Goldhaber, D., Hayes, K., & Theobald, R. (2016). Missing elements in the discussion of teacher shortages. Retrieved from http://www.caldercenter.org/missing-elements-discussion-teacher-shortages.
[2] Cowan, J., Goldhaber, D., Hayes, K., & Theobald, R. (2016). Missing elements in the discussion of teacher shortages. CALDER. Retrieved from http://www.caldercenter.org/missing-elements-discussion-teacher-shortages.
[3] National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Table 208.20: Public and private elementary and secondary teachers, enrollment, pupil/teacher ratios, and new teacher hires: Selected years, fall 1955 through fall 2025. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/tables/dt15_208.20.asp.
[4] Krieg, J. M., Theobald, R., & Goldhaber, D. (2016). A foot in the door: Exploring the role of student teaching assignments in teachers' initial job placements. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(2), 364-388.