Nevada teacher shortage receives 'emergency' status

Dive Brief:

  • In Nevada, an ongoing teacher shortage has led the state to declare a state of emergency, which subsequently allows for the hiring and rapid instatement of out-of-state teachers who can begin working without state licenses.
  • The non-local teachers, however, do need to hold licensure in other states to be granted a provisional Nevada license that remains good for one year.
  • According to the Las Vegas Sun, Nevada has lost 1,000 teaching recruits because of its licensing process, which had previously taken new recruits between two and six months to finish. 

Dive Insight:

Nevada's move seems to be a practical one, especially in the face of some districts now offering costly financial incentives and perks to lure in new teachers. The state would also do well to study why and how the shortage evolved, an issue that Indiana has taken on in recent days after statistics showed that the number of people obtaining teacher licenses in the state fell by more 50% between 2009 and 2013.

Elsewhere, states like Pennsylvania and Kansas have also been hit hard by the shortages, with some Philly students lacking teachers for a stunning 50% of classes last fall. Social media recruitment can help school officials find potential candidates, and some districts are now focusing on "growing" their own teachers. This is done by encouraging local professionals and high school students to consider teaching as their future occupation, based on the idea that candidates with pre-existing ties to a location may be more likely to stay there. The new "Educators Rising" network is also dedicated to that effort and aims to encourage high school students to choose teaching as a profession. 

The teacher shortage situation has been referred to as a "perfect storm" of political and budgetary factors.

Filed Under: K12 Policy & Regulation
Top image credit: U.S. Census Bureau