South Carolina is facing a teaching crisis – and many people use that term for teacher shortages – but in this case it truly is becoming a crisis. Through teacher attrition, South Carolina loses about 4,900 teachers and, according to CERRA’s Supply and Demand report, they produce about 1,700 a year from educator preparation. Last fall, the school year started with 550 vacancies.
But this year there is the end of TERI which kept thousands of teachers in the job after retirement. Over 3,500 teachers will leave in June.
So – over 8,000 open teaching positions and the state is only producing 1,700.
Why are we so upset by this? Because we launched South Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow and only have about 50 who have been able to enroll in the program. We have had well over 1,800 South Carolina residents who have applied to be teachers – but we can only accept 50 right now due to the department of education.
SCDOE wants every teacher to have a major in subject and that is just not practical. There are not enough math or science majors to fill these roles. In most other states, you can take the teacher subject matter exam which proves subject matter knowledge but not in South Carolina – here you have to have over 21 hours of upper level subject to teach it. And that will not work.
We need to change this now to have any hope of ever solving this teaching crisis. I am all for high standards – but having vacant classrooms or upper level subjects taught by long term subs is not high quality.
It’s time to get real in South Carolina.