“Many teachers have left the profession and gone into other work of various kinds because they could make more money. Frequently the best teachers are the ones who have left the profession because they have been able to command exceptional salaries elsewhere.” ( H/T Tom Gantert. )
The above quote is taken from the front page of the April 16, 1920 edition of the Charlevoix County Herald , a newspaper in Michigan. And the story has replicated itself repeatedly on a nationwide basis for the last 102 years. Just a few of the many recent examples: In June 2021, the National Education Association warned us that “Educators Ready for Fall, But a Teacher Shortage Looms .” We were told in September 2021: “ Teacher shortage affecting education nationwide .” The Epoch Times sounded alarm bells in May 2022: “US Schools Facing Mass Exodus of Teachers Who Won’t Return This Fall.” In early June 2022, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said “Americans shouldn’t be surprised by disruptions caused by teacher shortages and the emerging labor market crisis in K-12 schools since educators are rarely supported in the ways other professions recruit and retain employees.” And NBC reported in June 2022 that Joe Biden “wants to fix the nation’s teacher shortage .”
So it seems that we are indeed in the midst of a serious crisis, right?
Wrong. There is absolutely no teacher shortage writ large in the United States, 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 the fact that other education employees—administrators, teacher aides, counselors, social workers, etc.—rose more than seven times the increase in students. Scafidi added that despite the staffing […]
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