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Project Overview

The Illinois Educator Shortage Survey, which began in 2017 by a RPP of regional superintendents and education policy and research groups, was designed to capture school district superintendents’ perceptions of the educator workforce across the state. The annual survey assesses the impact of the educator supply on day-to-day district operations such as open positions and class offerings.

In 2021, IWERC joined this RPP and helped launch an educator employment project to examine the patterns of and factors that contribute to teacher and administrator attrition and mobility across the state. Both projects aim to provide leadership at multiple levels—from school communities to state lawmakers—with critical information about their workforce that can (1) shape recruitment and retention strategies and (2) influence policy to support learner populations disproportionately affected by the educator shortage and teacher attrition and mobility.

IWERC’s The Illinois Educator Shortage and Employment Project

2021 Illinois Educator Shortage Survey

Illinois’ Persistent Educator Shortage:

Multiple Sources Point to the Same Conclusion

Abstract: Data from the annual Educator Shortage Survey conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools indicate that the burden on public schools to find qualified educators has not improved over recent years. Data from the Illinois State Board of Education further show that the pool of qualified teachers and administrators does not meet the demand of districts and schools. It is imperative that policymakers invest in all parts of the educator pipeline from recruitment and preparation to induction and retention to support the development and maintenance of a highly qualified and diverse educator workforce statewide.

February 2022

Read the White Paper

2021 Illinois Educator Shortage Survey

Chronic Teacher Shortages

Part 1: Content and Geographic Areas with High Need

Abstract: Teacher shortages are broadly distributed across Illinois for all content areas and grade bands—from elementary to high school. Yet specific content areas and geographic regions differ in severity of shortages. This white paper, the first of a two-part series, investigates (1) which content areas are in the highest need of qualified teachers; (2) which populations are most impacted by staffing difficulties; and (3) the long-term magnitude of the problem.

March 2022

Read the White Paper

IWERC’s The Illinois Educator Shortage and Employment Project
IWERC’s The Illinois Educator Shortage and Employment Project

2021 Illinois Educator Shortage Survey

Chronic Teacher Shortages

Part 2: Demand for Teachers by Grade Band

Abstract: Teacher shortages are broadly distributed across Illinois for all content areas and grade bands. Yet specific content areas and geographic regions differ in severity of shortages. This white paper, the second of a two-part series, delves into the specific shortages of content area and geographic region by grade band. For each grade band, we examine (1) where the reported unfilled (i.e., job openings that remain vacant) and underfilled (i.e., job openings occupied by under-qualified, substitute, or outsourced hires) teacher positions are geographically located for all content areas; (2) the content areas that comprise the top quintile of un- and underfilled teacher positions; and (3) the breakdown of un- and underfilled teacher positions by hiring method for the most impacted content areas. The findings continue to show that strategic efforts to address teacher shortages should target specific content areas and geographic regions as opposed to blanket policies that impact the whole profession.

May 2022

Read the White Paper