National groups forecast looming teacher shortage

As Idaho wrestles with ongoing issues of teacher retention, some new numbers place the situation into national context.

The news isn’t good. By 2026, the nation will need even more elementary and secondary school teachers.

“The research makes clear there is a growing need for education professionals, yet state and local governments already are having a tough time attracting and retaining teachers,” said Gerald Young, a senior research associate for the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, a Washington, D.C., nonpartisan nonprofit that focuses on public sector hiring and benefits issues.

A few demographic takeaways:

  • Nearly three-fourths of public school teachers are women.
  • As Hispanic student numbers grow in Idaho and across the nation, 80 percent of public school teachers are white. Only 9 percent of the nation’s public school teachers are Hispanic.
  • The median age of a public school teacher is 41.4, lower than the median age for other state and local government employees.

ICMA-RC, a Washington, D.C.-based organization focused on public sector pension issues, also partnered in this research.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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