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How new Education Secretary Miguel Cardona can end America’s teacher shortage


This is an op-ed by academic scholars Bob Spires, Diane Hirshberg, Doris Santoro and Richard Schwab. They wrote this piece for The Conversation, an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts. Read “Education secretary: My five-point plan to get students back to school full time” for another view on this topic.

New Education Secretary Miguel Cardona faces several urgent and contentious priorities, including reopening schools safely, addressing systemic racism within schools, and reversing the ever-growing teacher shortage.

Four experts explain how to recruit more people to become educators in the nation’s public schools.

1. Increase pay and reduce class sizes

The teacher shortage has become a crisis in the United States. In 2018, there was an estimated shortage of over 100,000 K-12 teachers. Meanwhile, the demand for K-12 teaching jobs is expected to continue to increase 5% per year through 2028.

Part of the reason for the shortage has to do with pay and working conditions. On average, teachers make roughly 20% less than other college graduates, according to research from the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that focuses on worker issues.A majority of teachers work additional jobs – either within or outside their schools […]

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