A Back to School Special Report on the Baby Boom Echo: No End in Sight (August 19, 1999)
The Baby Boom Echo:
No End in Sight
Hiring and Keeping Enough Teachers
The increase in the numbers of young people going to school will accelerate the demand for well-trained teachers. A total of 2.2 million teachers are needed to meet enrollment increases in the next 10 years and to offset the large number of teachers who are about to retire. As Figure 12 indicates, we are on the verge of a massive wave of retirements as the large cohort of experienced teachers who were hired in the late 1960s and 1970s begins to leave the profession.
The shortage of teachers is already particularly pronounced in science, math, special education, bilingual education and foreign languages. While the effort of many urban school districts to recruit new teachers often makes headline news, one untold story is the increasing difficulty that many poor, rural communities continue to face in recruiting the teachers they need.
The need to find new teachers is leading some school districts to develop new incentive packages ranging from a $1,000 signing bonus in Howard County, Maryland, to a $20,000 signing bonus in the state of Massachusetts for certified teachers.
One of the greatest problems that school districts face once they hire new teachers is keeping them. New teachers are often compelled to sink or swim, often receiving the toughest assignments in addition to the responsibility for supervising extracurricular activities. As a result, 22 percent of all new teachers leave the profession in the first three years.
[ Crush of Students Comes from Both Cities and Suburbs ]
[ School Construction Still Lags Behind ]
Last Updated -- August 19, 1999, (smj)