Ohio faces teacher shortage, underlying factors revealed in recent report

By Zack Frink, Elevate Dayton


A report by the Ohio Department of Education is revealing a need for teachers in Southwest Ohio, with low initial pay, childcare requirements and lack of respect for educators cited as hindrances, reported by the Dayton Daily News.


The big picture: the ODE report reveals troubling trends.


  • A growing percentage of teachers instruct outside their certification scope.


  • Around 20% of teachers have less than five years of experience.


  • An increasing number of certified teachers are shifting towards administrative roles or leaving the profession entirely.


Driving the news: Teacher shortages are being observed across the board, not only in traditionally affected urban and rural areas.


  • The problem persists even in affluent districts that offer high salaries and benefits.


By the numbers: In 2022, there were 216,442 credentialed teachers in Ohio.


  • But only 138,186 were working in schools, and 110,147 credentialed teachers were actively teaching. 


What we're hearing: The lack of childcare is a significant factor contributing to the teacher shortage.


  • A trend has been noted where one parent, often a woman, opts to stay home with young children due to childcare costs.
  • This is significant, as women comprise about 75% of teachers, according to ODE.


Between the lines: The teacher to student ratios in public schools are at historic lows, largely due to reduced student enrollments in public schools and a declining birth rate in Ohio since 2015. 


Key follow up: ODE staffers believe there is more data to be explored, such as the reasons why those with active licenses aren't currently working.

The bottom line: The teacher shortage in Ohio, particularly Southwest Ohio, is a multifaceted issue that will require comprehensive solutions addressing teachers' pay, childcare, and professional respect.


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