Results from the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) 2022-23 Educator Shortage survey show there are 515 fewer vacancies among teachers, administrators and school support staff across the state compared to the 2021-22 school year.
MDE’s Office of Teaching and Leading conducted the first such survey in 2021-22, which reflected 5,503 vacancies. The vacancies for 2022-23 are 4,988. The survey was conducted Aug. 18, 2022 – Nov. 14, 2022, and had 100% participation from school districts.
Though teacher vacancies decreased in the majority of subject areas, they did increase in the following categories: pre-K; high school science, chemistry, physics, math, geometry, career/technical education, heath/physical education and gifted. Teacher vacancies increased in the northeast part of the state, while slight to significant declines were noted elsewhere.
Vacancies declined among school administrators (principal and assistant principal) and K-12 licensed educators in library/media, counselor and speech/language positions. The highest overall vacancies were among K-12 support staff for teacher assistants and school bus drivers.
The MDE is evaluating the survey results, along with results from its October 2022 Teacher Retention survey, to bolster and develop strategies to mitigate vacancies and strengthen the educator workforce statewide. MDE’s Mississippi Teacher Residency program, which is currently accepting applications for cohort five, has proven to be a pathway of professional advancement for teacher assistants and some school bus drivers.
Other strategies consist of improving professional development by removing barriers to educator licensure, including access, receipt and renewal of licenses. MDE will continue to assess opportunities to expand access to its Performance-Based Licensure program per district request.
To see the Educator Shortage survey results and aligned strategies as presented to the State Board of Education during the Jan. 19 Board meeting, watch the meeting’s livestream here.
Find all MDE news releases at mdek12.org/news.