Shortage Of Teachers In Ohio Schools Seen; Adverse Impact On Education Quality Expected
The number of graduates of bachelor's degrees in education has dropped by more than 25 percent. This will lead to shortage of teachers in Ohio schools which will adversely affect the quality of education that Ohio students receive.
According to Dispatch, this worrisome statistics runs contrary to the reputation of Ohio as the "fount of new teachers." Where graduates of education used to have a surplus, the same is no longer true as there are now a fewer number of teachers who specialize in subjects that lack instructors.
Some of the subjects that lack teachers include math, science, physical education and foreign languages. Universities are not yet worried about these numbers because the ones affected the most are middle schools and high schools.
From 6,759 graduates who had a bachelor's degree in education in 2003 to 2004, it has dropped to 4,983 in 2014 to 2015. The 7.3-percent reduction left many Ohio schools in a quandary as to where they will source future teachers.
Tom Lasley, a retired dean of an Ohio university said that economic reasons are among the primary causes why a huge drop of graduates in education was seen. Many students today believe that a teacher's salary is not even enough to pay back student loan debts they incurred while studying. Because of this, many have suggested that schools should provide salary premiums so as to attract more math and science teachers.
The situation in Ohio is not entirely unique to the state. NC Policy Watch said North Carolina is also experiencing teacher shortage. There had been a steep drop in the number of enrollees in education-related programs, leaving educators wondering where to source future qualified teachers from a diminishing number of teachers who can hack the job.
Nor have the full effects of the enrollment slowdown been realized. The real struggle is expected to crest in several years when school districts search for new teachers from a shrinking pool of qualified educators.
If the main reason why there are fewer individuals who opt for a bachelor's degree in education is low teacher's salary, then perhaps a salary premium may help change the trend. What's certain is that a fewer number of teachers will create a negative impact on the quality of education that U.S. students will receive.