South Carolina school districts report teacher shortages persist in some regions of the state and in core subject areas, making recruitment of teachers “as critical as ever,” according to a new report.
The report, produced annually by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement, surveys school districts and gauges the supply and demand for teachers across the state.
S.C. school districts reported a slight increase in overall positions this fall. New hires were up 25 percent from last year and 64 percent from 2010-2011, when schools saw the lowest number of hires since 2001, the first year of the survey.
The increases are “encouraging,” suggesting there are available resources for hiring and recruiting new teachers, said Jennifer Garrett, coordinator of research for the center.
Minorities and males accounted for a marginally larger portion of new hires this year compared to 2011, following a trend over the last decade, the report says.
Teaching vacancies also rose 60 percent. There were teacher shortages in math, science, English, language arts and special education, and in some geographic areas.
The number of teachers who didn’t return for the 2012 school year also rose over 2011.
This fall, nearly a quarter of teachers who left transferred to another S.C. district, private school, college or university, up from 15 percent in 2011. Retiring teachers made up 23 percent of teachers not returning to the classroom.