A new statewide report on the supply and demand of teachers shows Minnesota continues to show troubling trends in terms of the number of  qualified teachers entering and staying in the field.

Rural schools articulated a greater difficulty and impact of the shortage compared to suburban and urban districts. All types of districts have seen the availability of teachers decrease significantly over the last five years, but rural districts have perceived the decrease as being greater

A majority of districts reported being “somewhat significantly” or “very significantly” impacted by the teacher shortage (70%) and substitute teacher shortage (88%). 

The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) released the biennial Teacher Supply and Demand Report to inform policymakers and education stakeholders on the current landscape of teachers in Minnesota.  This data was taken from the 2019-20 school years. 

Key Findings

Teachers are leaving the profession.

  • More than half of Minnesota’s teachers who hold a Tier 3 or Tier 4 License are currently not teaching in a public-school classroom or charter school classroom. 
  • Nearly a third of new teachers leave teaching within the first five years in the profession. 

Schools lack access to teachers to replaces those leaving.

  • Most positions within public school districts and charter schools are being filled by teachers holding a Tier 3 or Tier 4 License. 
  • During the 2019-20 academic year, the majority of districts (54%) did not fill a position using a teacher holding a Tier 1 License. 
  • Charter schools are much more likely to fill a position with a teacher holding a Tier 1 or Tier 2 License than public school districts. 
  • The majority of teachers holding a Tier 2 License have completed teacher preparation or are in the process of completing teacher preparation. 

All areas experience gaps, with rural areas most significantly impacted.

  • The demand for teachers is evenly distributed among economic development regions within the state. 
  • The licensure areas filled with the highest proportion of teachers holding a Tier 1 License, Tier 2 License, or Out-ofField Permission for their assignment remain consistent. They include: special education fields, language licensure areas (exacerbated by the lack of teacher preparation programs in Minnesota), and career and technical fields.
  • Minnesota continues to lag significantly in the ability to hire and retain racially and ethnically diverse teachers even close to the proportion of students of color and indigenous students in the state. 

Filling Teacher Assignments

Teacher Attribution Over 5 Years

View the full report.

Taking Action

MREA has had on its legislative platform for many years ideas to help with the teacher shortage. Recent areas of focus, including for the current legislative session, include Grow Your Own Teachers pilot programs and “Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers” legislative initiatives. 

It is important the Minnesota provided secure adequate, ongoing funding for grants, student teaching stipends and loan forgiveness to attract and retain new teachers in rural areas.

View the full report.

See how the recent results compare to the last report.