Tracking Missouri’s Teacher Workforce Data Heading Into 2023-24 School Year

(MissouriNet) Missouri has a shortage of teachers to fill badly needed positions. It’s been a talking point in the Missouri State Capitol for the past several years. Paul Katnik (like catnip) is with the Office of Educator Quality at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). He tells Missourinet that there’s a slight increase in Missouri teacher college enrollment heading into this school year…

“We have a good decade’s worth of data that shows this decline for a number of years kind of bottoming out somewhere around ’18-19, it seems to be the low point. The last three years, we’ve seen an uptick, so there is some sign, perhaps that our enrollment is building, which is great because we’ve been working really hard on that the last several years.”

Certificates for teachers who complete an enrollment program continue to dwindle. Hiring rates jumped 2% at 11.9%. Katnik says that the national average is around 8%, but he says retention rates for early career teachers remains low. He hopes that continued investment in the number of Grow Your Own programs, which recruits students to become future educators, will boost Missouri teacher college enrollment and educator retention rates for districts across Missouri.