Indiana experiencing teacher shortages across 14 subjects

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Indiana is experiencing teacher shortages across 14 subjects, including in key focus areas such as science, math, and career and technical education, according to information released by the state education department.

The state submitted the list of subjects for an annual federal report on teacher shortage areas. The shortages reflect a long-running need for special education educators. Plus, as the state-funded prekindergarten program grows, Indiana anticipates a greater demand for early-childhood education.

“Unfortunately, this shortage continues to spill into areas not only critical to Indiana’s educational plan, but areas that prepare our students for a bright future,” Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said in a written statement.

The shortage areas were announced as state lawmakers finalize ways to address raising teacher salaries, a high priority in this year’s legislative session. McCormick said the shortages underscore the political need to take action on teacher pay and find other ways to improve teacher retention.

To prepare the report, the state asked for input from school districts and looked at the numbers of emergency permits to determine shortage areas. For example, in 2017-18, the state issued 396 emergency permits in mild intervention, a category of special education.

The state also granted 186 emergency permits in math and 153 in language arts.

Over the last three decades, Indiana’s teacher-shortage areas have shifted from focusing mostly on special education to including broader areas such as math, science, and language arts.

By working in these designated high-need areas, prospective teachers can receive some relief on certain federal student loans.

Here’s the list of Indiana’s submitted teacher shortage areas:

  • Business
  • Computer Education
  • Computer Science
  • CTE Licensure Areas (all)
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Exceptional Needs (all)
  • Fine Arts: Instrumental and General Music
  • Fine Arts: Vocal and General Music
  • Mathematics
  • Science (all)
  • Secondary Language Arts
  • Technology Education
  • Teachers of English Learners
  • World Languages (all)

Chalkbeat is a not-for-profit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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