In this report, the number of teachers expected to be needed during these years was compared to the number of teachers expected to be available during this same time. Based on this comparison, seven core subject areas are projected to experience a teacher shortage over the next 12 years. These subject areas are art, business/marketing/computer technology, mathematics, sciences, social studies, special education, and Spanish. The report displays tables that include the projected supply and demand of teachers by subject area for three specified school years (2016-17, 2021-22, and 2027-28), as well as the projected teacher surplus or shortage for each subject area. Also included are estimates of the cumulative teacher shortages that South Carolina is likely to experience if there are no changes in current patterns of hiring or completions of in-state teacher education programs. Looking at mathematics, in particular, in order to eliminate the projected teacher shortage by 2021-22, the state will need to produce approximately 459 new math teachers. This number rises to 527 in the 2027-28 school year. These figures incorporate new hires available, teachers leaving, and new demand for teachers from the increasing student count.
As part of Proviso 1A.78, a survey was sent to the deans of teacher education programs in 30 South Carolina public and independent colleges/universities to determine whether these institutions have the capacity and infrastructure to fulfill the projected teacher needs. The survey results indicate that South Carolina colleges and universities with teacher education programs have the willingness and ability to accommodate more teacher candidates in several subject areas that are projected to have teacher shortages. According to the deans, however, there is a lack of student interest in entering the teaching profession, particularly in these core areas: sciences, social studies, mathematics, and special education. Unfortunately, these areas are the ones with the greatest need for teachers and are projected to have the most significant teacher shortages over the next decade.
Overall, South Carolina does not produce a sufficient number of teachers through the state’s teacher education programs to fill current and anticipated vacant positions. Graduates from in-state teacher education programs are the largest source of newly hired teachers each year. Other new hires include international teachers and those from another state, and teachers from alternative certification programs like South Carolina’s Program of Alternative Certification (PACE). These sources combined, however, may not generate a supply of teachers large enough to meet the current or projected demand for teachers based on student enrollment.
Read the study here.