Teacher Supply and Demand
Teacher supply and demand have been a concern for many districts across this country for many years and for many reasons. The article posted in Education Week points to some interesting post recession trends. There must be considerable investigation into why students going into college do not choose teaching as profession. Pay continues to be thrust forward as a reason that limits attraction and retention for teaching staff. Total compensation for contracted days must be reviewed and considered as component of this broad based issue.
There have been historic ups and downs with regards to teacher supply and demand. Post 2008 the political landscape in board rooms, state houses and at the federal level have been a major factor in this matter. Prior to 2008 little to no attention was paid to public pension systems because private sector offered better 401K matching packages than what public employees received. When the private well dried people turned their attentions to recouping their tax dollars by attacking public pension system. Frankly, local, state and federal over reach has pushed down so hard on teachers and administrators it may likely create a high level of job dissatisfaction. What alarmingly is absent in this discussion is the shallow candidate pool for administrator positions. There is a fallacy way to often espoused that administrators are overpaid and should be the first employee group reduce to save money- largely while at the same time demanding lower pupil to teacher ratios. This just does not make any sense. There must be appropriate attention paid to staffing needs for teachers, administrators and support staff and if there is an imbalance in any one employee group it will diminish the effectiveness of the other groups.
Public school staffing issues should raise concern in America. It is past time the politics stay out of the Board rooms and state houses and that divisive energy is redirected to building a culture that holds school employees with the highest regard possible. We need to start with rebuilding the public perception first then look at all the other factors impacting school employee attraction and retention.