Research Finds Teacher Shortage in Arkansas

March 18, 2021

Education

Research Finds Teacher Shortage in Arkansas

A new report, funded by the Walton Family Foundation, has found that 4 percent of teachers across Arkansas are uncertified, which is double the national average of 1.7 percent. In 30 districts, at least 10 percent are uncertified, while seven districts have more than 30 percent uncertified teachers.

  • Additionally, the study reported that certain school districts in Arkansas have significantly higher percentages of uncertified teachers and offer significantly lower pay than others. “They are losing teachers to higher paying districts, that are either close by or teachers move to get higher paying jobs in another district,” said WFF Analytics Director Elizabeth Kelly. -KNWA/Fox24

  • Furthermore, the report points to three causes for certified teacher shortages: 1). The lack of area adults having the bachelor’s degrees that can lead to certification. 2). The inadequacy of incentive programs with which many prospective teachers are unfamiliar. 3). Teacher compensation.

  • Northwest Arkansas not only has some of the highest starting salaries for teachers in the state but also some of the highest paying school districts. NWA also has incredibly low rates of uncertified teachers.

  • The recommended solution? Increasing teacher salaries across the state and reducing salary inequities, designing a website describing the state’s pathways to teaching and financial incentives, and fully funding bonuses for teachers in high-priority districts with 1,000 or fewer students, the study recommends. -Talk Business & Politics

Want to see more? You can check out the full report HERE

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