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NEA Issue Explainer

Educator Pipeline

Ensuring that students in every community have caring, committed, profession-ready educators means improving strategies for recruiting, preparing, and supporting educators at all stages.
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Published: March 31, 2022
This issue explainer originally appeared on

Strengthening the Educator Pipeline and Supporting Aspiring Educators

As of February 2022, there were 335,000 fewer public-school educators in our nation than before the pandemic; the shortage of Black and Latino teachers is especially pronounced. In fact, there are shortages across all job categories in education, from transportation to food service.

In a 2022 survey, 55 percent of NEA members said they were considering leaving the profession they love earlier than they’d planned because they feel overwhelmed and under-supported.

These shortages have been an issue for decades and now are at crisis levels in areas such as mathematics, science, special education, and bilingual education. Educators love what they do—they just need more support to pursue their passion for teaching, guiding, and supporting students.

Solutions include increasing pay and benefits; creating grow-your-own programs to recruit and prepare educators to teach and work in their local communities; fully funding teacher residency programs; and providing high-quality professional development for all educators.

Yesse Cano Quote for Issue Explainer Page
“I am committed to nurturing my students’ development and advocating for everything they need and deserve, and many others are just as dedicated as I am. We need more programs to support us and strengthen our professional practice so we can be there for students, and stay in the careers we love.”
Quote by: Yesse Cano, Aspiring Educator, Oklahoma Panhandle State University and NEA Board member

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The Union of Vermont Educators

The Vermont-National Education Association is the union of Vermont educators, 13,000 professionals who teach the state's children every day. As the state's largest union, Vermont-NEA is proud to represent the people who make a difference in the lives of students in classrooms across Vermont.