NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Qualified Teacher Shoratage in Texas

July 25, 2003

Most Texas school districts are still scrambling to find enough qualified teachers, according to a new study from Texas A&M University that found nearly a quarter of the 39,000 teachers hired last fall were not trained in their subjects.

Other findings:

  • In Dallas and other large, urban districts, an estimated 30 percent of new teachers were not certified in the subjects they taught.
  • Districts were particularly hard-pressed to find enough teachers for foreign language and computer science classes in high schools and for bilingual classes in elementary schools and high schools.
  • About 42 percent of foreign language teachers hired last fall were not fully certified.
  • Further, a large number of districts said it was also "very difficult to fill" vacant positions in high school math, science and special education.

School districts are continuing to hire less-than-fully certified teachers to meet their needs, said the report by the Texas A&M Institute for School-University Partnerships.

The study also found that about 80 percent of the new teachers were hired to replace teachers who retired or quit, while 20 percent were hired to fill new positions created by increased enrollment or other factors.

Source: Terrence Stutz, "A gap in qualified teachers: In Dallas, 30 percent of new hires not certified in subjects they instruct," Dallas Morning News, July 25, 2003.


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