Posted on August 26, 2022

Why Is There a Teacher Shortage? Current and Former Educators Explain

Chris Papst, WBFF, August 24, 2022

The problem is bad and getting worse. School begins for most students in the Baltimore region in less than a week. But many of those students won’t have a teacher on day one as local districts scramble to fill hundreds of openings.


“In Baltimore City Public Schools, the crisis has reached an acute level,” said current City Schools teacher Timothy Ferrell during a July school board meeting.


Baltimore City alone still has about 225 openings, days before school starts. But this is not a new problem. Enrollment in Maryland’s educator preparation programs has declined by 33 percent over the last ten years.

To compensate, Maryland has tried to attract more teachers by offering incentives such as higher pay and retention bonuses. It doesn’t seem to be working. So, at this point, it appears fewer people want to be a public school teacher. The question is why?


Nationwide, teachers are reporting student behavior as a driving factor for why some are fleeing.

According to a recent survey from the American Federation of Teachers, 15 percent of teachers “definitely” plan to leave the job in the next two years. Another 23 percent say they will “probably” leave in two years. Of the teachers surveyed, 70 percent said poor student discipline and a lack of support for dealing with disruptive students was a very serious problem.

The National Education Association, America’s largest teachers’ union, surveyed its members in January. Seventy-six percent said student behavioral issues are a serious problem.