Substitute and Teacher Shortage

Substitute and Teacher Shortage

School districts across Michigan (and the country) are desperately trying to find highly-qualified educators to meet their instruction needs for both full-time positions and substitute teachers. Berrien County superintendents welcome any legislation that support schools in their efforts to recruit, incentivize, hire and maintain quality educators.

Critical Shortage List

As always, schools are working tirelessly to ensure all students are reading proficiently by the end of third grade. In an effort to support that goal, schools need the expertise of literacy coaches. Berrien County superintendents would appreciate the ability to hire retired teachers to serve as literacy coaches, without there being a penalty to their retirement plans (permanent exemption). Also, school administrators would appreciate sustained funding to support those positions in each of their buildings.

Call to Action

  • Support the Governor’s Michigan Reconnect program, providing opportunities for those seeking training or certification in specialized careers.
  • Support the Governor’s MI Opportunity initiative to provide tuition-free education at community college across the state and significant financial support to students at 4-year public universities.
  • Encourage young adults to become teachers by elevating the profession. Educators should be commended for their efforts that often include being a child’s caretaker, mentor, advocate and role model.
  • Strengthen teacher preparation programs so that they attract and produce more qualified candidates. This includes providing incentives to attract industry and trade professionals to join the education workforce.
  • Support schools in establishing incentive programs, offer loan forgiveness opportunities, housing stipends or other unique benefits to attract teachers.
  • Work to make Michigan a destination state where graduates want to live and work.

Did you know?

Why is there a teacher shortage in Michigan? According to the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administers toolkit, Closing the Educator Shortage Gap:

  • Michigan’s population has not fully rebounded from the Great Recession, lagging most states in population growth.
  • Michigan’s population is aging.
  • The state’s student enrollment continues to decline, with some forecasts predicting another 15 percent drop in student population by 2030.
  • Enrollment in educator preparation programs is down and declining.
  • The number of certificates granted is down and declining.
  • Shortages are uneven. Some districts are experiencing overall declines in quality candidates. Some districts are reporting declines in certain certifications. Some districts easily fill their vacancies.
  • The certificates granted by Michigan’s educator preparation programs are a mismatch for the openings schools are reporting.

Finding substitute teachers has become increasingly difficult for all school districts in Berrien County. With unemployment on the decline (percent for January 2019) and fewer individuals pursuing teaching as a career, there are fewer people who are qualified, interested and available to substitute teach.

Berrien RESA and all of Berrien County’s school districts utilize the services of EDUStaff to screen and employ substitute teachers.

Current Legislation

Bill Number
 SB 657 Revises requirements for professional teaching certificates and requirements for the alternative teaching certificate process by eliminating the prohibition on Special Education Teacher alternative certification.
HB 4274
Expands public school employee annuity option.
HB 4342
Exempts college credit requirement and allows family member of pupil to serve as substitute teacher.
HB 4392, 4393 and 4394
Requires schools to employ certified library media specialists to support literacy instruction.
 HB 4856 Provides for nullification of certain endorsements on teaching certificates or grade-level certifications included in teaching certificates after 7 years of non use.
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