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What’s the Deal with the Ongoing Teacher Shortage?

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The idea that there is a teacher shortage is simply untrue.

There is absolutely no teacher shortage writ large in the U.S., and actual data puts things into perspective. Researcher and economics professor Benjamin Scafidi found that between 1950 and 2015, the number of teachers increased about 2.5 times as fast as the uptick in students. But even more outrageous is that fact other education employees – administrators, teacher aides, counselors, social workers, etc. – rose more than 7 times the increase in students. Scafidi added that despite the staffing surge, students’ academic achievement has stagnated or even fallen over the past several decades. According to the latest data from 2019, Scafidi’s numbers are still accurate. As Heritage Foundation scholar Lindsay Burke notes, in public schools across America today, “teachers make up just half of all education jobs.” […]

The teachers unions talk up the faux shortage as a way to get more money poured into education and the media do so either because they are true believers or just can’t resist a sky-is-falling headline. But the citizenry must resist the blather. As former president of National Council on Teacher Quality Kate Walsh recently wrote, “Nothing causes more harm to teacher quality than the threat of a teacher shortage, and only wildfires spread faster.” And, amazingly, those wildfires have been raging for over a century now.

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