New York State School Boards Association

NYSSBA report identifies areas of teacher shortages in New York

FOR RELEASE: May 24, 2017

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell


Despite numerous warnings of widespread teacher shortages, a new report from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) finds teacher shortages in New York are generally confined to a handful of subjects and geographic regions.

"What we found was that teacher shortages in New York exist largely in such hard-to-staff subjects as science, math, special education, English as a second language, bilingual education, foreign languages and technology," said NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer. "We also found that shortages aren't necessarily widespread across the state, but are found mostly in New York City and in smaller, more rural locales."

The report, entitled "Teacher Shortage? What Teacher Shortage?" also found that in subjects and areas where shortages do exist, the lack of qualified teachers appears to be more of a mismatch between the types of teachers coming out of teacher preparation programs and the kinds of teachers most in demand by schools. For example, a study by the National Council on Teacher Quality found that in 2012-13, New York had a supply of 6,119 new elementary teachers but only 2,470 openings.

"New York appears to have an overabundance of teachers in subjects with the least demand, such as elementary education, but the fields in which they are most needed are in areas such as science, math, special education and English as a second language," said Kremer.

NYSSBA drew its conclusions from three sources of data: annual teacher shortage data from the U.S. Department of Education, a NYSSBA analysis of data regarding teachers without certification and a survey of school districts across the state.

The report highlighted a number of recommendations that could be undertaken at both the state and local levels to mitigate any shortages. These include:

  • Align teacher preparation programs with areas of need, and student teaching placements with areas of school district need.
  • Increase salaries for teachers in hard-to-staff subject areas.
  • Recruit teachers outside the U.S., especially in bilingual education.
  • Make it easier for school districts to hire part-time teachers, and for teachers to transfer their teacher certification from one state to another.
  • Implement a certification process for qualified candidates within a specific field who do not have an education degree.

To read the report, go to



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