The annual CERRA teacher supply and demand survey is out in South Carolina. This annual look at the exact numbers of teachers who quit, who are produced and the open teaching positions in South Carolina is pretty much the most comprehensive look at teacher supply and demand in the country. I wish every state had the same level of detail on teacher shortages.

So what does it say about the state of teaching in South Carolina for the 2018-2019 school year?

Below are some nuggets from the report but the bottom line – 621 vacant positions at the start of school this year compared to 535 last year and 481 the year before.

  • The number of students who completed a teacher education program in South Carolina has declined by 32% since 2012-2013.
  • However the number of students who graduated from an in-state teacher preparation program increased for the first time since 2013
  • Districts are hiring more teachers from other countries – over 400 international teachers
  • 7300 teachers left their positions in 2017-2018 – a 10% increase (this was probably due to the end of TERI so not unexpected)
  • The 5 year retention rate got better – 65% this year versus 62% last year
  • 1,642 students graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree eligible for teacher certification – down 2.5% or 40 completers over last year but down over 800 since 2012
  • South Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow produced 24 teachers – not our normal numbers but a start.
  • Alternative Certification only accounts for 9% of the total number of new teachers hired – but accounts for 39% of the new teachers prepared in South Carolina

There is a lot of work to be done.  South Carolina Teachers of Tomorrow has had over 2,500 people apply to teach in South Carolina but only 250 who have enrolled.

Things preventing potential teachers from getting into the classroom are the requirements for a subject matter hours, teacher testing and the desire to teach elementary or special education which we cannot certify.

There is more work to be done if we are ever going to get to a place where every child in South Carolina has a great teacher!

The Post and Courier picks up the story as well in South Carolina’s deep teacher shortage got even worse in 2018

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