Teacher shortage worsening
The teacher shortage in Colorado is only going to get worse, according to a new report released Thursday by the state.
The latest numbers from the 2016 Legislative Educator Preparation Report show the number of people finishing teacher preparation programs at Colorado colleges and universities during the 2015-16 academic year dropped by 2.2 percent to 2,472.
It was the sixth consecutive year the number of people joining the workforce as teachers and administrators has dropped — and a 24.4 percent decrease since 2010.
Enrollment in educator preparation programs at Colorado colleges and universities also remains at low levels and is largely unchanged from the previous academic year with 9,896 students. It’s a reduction of 24.4 percent from the 201011 academic year.
This is not good news for schools and educational programs across the state, said Diane Duffy, interim executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
“This report highlights the growing concern about teacher and teacher shortages,” Duffy said.
“Worse, the shortage directly impacts instruction in high-need areas such as math, science and world languages. This issue impacts all of Colorado’s schools, particularly those in our rural and remote regions.”
According to the Educator Preparation Report, 3,268 educators completed programs through either a traditional or alternative educator preparation program licensure route, such as an online program.