Education News

Texas Schools Grapple With Teacher Shortage

Critical shortage areas include bilingual education, math, science, career and technical education, and also special education

 

School is starting in less than a week for many students in Greater Houston. But some districts are still trying to hire teachers for the classroom.

It’s a national problem that’s also hitting schools in Houston and across Texas.

There’s a shortage of teachers, especially in critical subjects. Those are bilingual education, math, science, career and technical education and also special education, according to the Texas Education Agency. It’s gotten approval from the U.S. Department of Education to offer those teachers a break on their student debt, in an effort to recruit them to the classroom.

Take Houston Independent School District. It’s still advertising more than one hundred teaching positions.

Other cities around the country from San Francisco to Oklahoma City are also scrambling to find qualified instructors.

The shortage is a result of several factors: layoffs during the recession, fewer people preparing to become teachers and also more students enrolling in public schools. For example, from 2010-2014, there was a 30 percent drop in the number of people entering teacher preparation programs, according to federal data.

Some experts believe it may be a long-term problem.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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