As states compete to grow a diverse educator workforce, teacher shortages persist in Connecticut and across the country. Despite headwinds, Nutmeg State school districts aim to collectively fill hundreds of new teaching positions through an influx of federal funds. Many school communities are also experiencing shortages of bus drivers, custodians and substitute teachers. Below is a list of current teacher shortages, Connecticut’s legislative history with teacher recruitment, retention and diversification, proposals being considered across the country and our testimony from prior legislative public hearings.
Connecticut Teacher Shortage Areas for 2021-22
|Shortage Area Designation
|School Library and Media Specialist
|Alliance Districts only**
|Speech and Language Pathologist
|Alliance Districts only
|Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
** The Alliance District program is a unique and targeted investment in Connecticut’s 33 lowest-performing districts. Connecticut General Statute Section 10-262u establishes a process for identifying Alliance Districts and allocating increased Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding to support district strategies to dramatically increase student outcomes and close achievement gaps by pursuing bold and innovative reforms.
Across America, state and local leaders have taken extraordinary measures to address staff shortages in schools.
From Fox 21 in Minnesota, “Superintendent John Magas says he’s stepped in as both a paraprofessional and a substitute teacher, adding that he’s never seen staffing shortages so severe in the education field before.”
From KSNB Hastings in Nebraska, “Members of the Legislature’s Education Committee reviewed multiple bills that would forgive up to $30,000 in student loans for teachers who agree to work in a Nebraska school.”
From the Daily Tar Heel in North Carolina, “This is a program, a concept, a dream, if you will, that is trying to address educational equity in a very specific and deliberate way,” DREAM Project Director Emily Chávez said.” DREAM is a four-year program that combines both training and mentorship for educators of color. In their first year, applicants who become DREAM residents will receive Master of Arts in Teaching instruction that focuses both on coursework and fieldwork experiences. By ensuring that educators reflect their students, Chávez said she hopes to promote a future in which North Carolina’s diversity is fully represented and supported.
Due to a severe racial imbalance between Connecticut’s students and teachers, the General Assembly began taking steps to recruit and retain more teachers of color in 2015.
More than 5 out of 10 students are people of color
Only 1 out of 10 teachers are people of color
Proposals put forth by ConnCAN in 2022
Organize to Transform: Allow any certified teacher in the United States to have a fully transferable certification for Connecticut if they choose to relocate to our state
Move Here, Teach Here: Support teachers to transition to understaffed shortage areas by offering an Alliance District signing bonus and smaller bonuses provided for high-performing districts
Chip In to Fill In: Increasing post-secondary education scholarships for students from Alliance Districts entering the field, as long as a 3.0 GPA is maintained
Support One to Become One: District cooperation for sharing specialized, shortage area secondary school talent to increase access to college/career-focused coursework
Cooperate to Increase Academic Access: Reconstitute the Minority Teacher Task Force to develop long-term targets and goals
Connecticut legislation aimed at teacher diversification, recruitment and retention
Public Act No. 15-108 An Act Concerning Teacher Certification Requirements for Shortage Areas, Interstate Agreements for Teacher Certification Reciprocity, Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention and Cultural Competency Instruction.
Special Act No. 16-10 An Act Establishing a Pilot Program for Minority Students in High School to Pursue a College Degree in Education.
Public Act No. 16-41 An Act Concerning the Recommendations of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force.
Public Act No. 18-34 An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention.
Public Act No. 19-74 An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention.
Public Act No. 19-100 An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Instruction in Culturally Responsive Pedagogy and Practice in the Preservice Training, Professional Development and In-Service Training Provided to Teachers.
ConnCAN testimony in support of minority teacher recruitment and retention legislation
2019, Senate Bill 1022 An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention
2020, Senate Bill 390 An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention
2021, Senate Bill 1034 An Act Concerning Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention