Address Educator Shortages

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Educator Shortages

Pair short-term and long-term strategies to create a comprehensive approach for filling critical hard-to-staff vacancies

Educator shortages toolkit

Comprehensive Solutions for Educator Shortages

Teacher shortages have existed for decades, particularly in hard-to-staff subjects and schools. Too often, states resort to stop-gap solutions to fill vacancies without long-term, systemic strategies to address the root causes of ongoing teacher shortages. Combining short-term and long-term strategies to create a comprehensive solution is the only way to meet today’s needs and resolve future teacher shortages. 

We offer a suite of free resources focused on teacher shortages, with an emphasis on shortages in special education. In addition, our team offers an evidence-based process and customized supports to help your state or district develop a locally driven, comprehensive solution for attracting, supporting and retaining an effective and diverse educator workforce that meets your needs. 

Top Resources

Talent Development Data Tool

The Talent Development Data Tool is an easy-to-use, Excel-based tool to visualize teacher workforce data across the full educator career continuum, including disaggregating teacher workforce data to identify teacher shortages by segments like subject area, school type, income level, geographic area, and race or ethnicity. Our team can support states in using the data tool with cross-agency teams, district leaders, educator preparation providers, and other key stakeholders to hold data-driven, grounded conversations to identify top talent challenges, root causes, and relevant strategies

Plan for staffing needs and challenges by visualizing different slices and segments of the teacher workforce across the entire educator career continuum. This Excel-based tool assists states in targeting funding, incentives, and other programmatic supports for the greatest impact, as well as allowing states to provide support to districts in making strategic staffing decisions.. 

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Educator Shortages in Special Education: A Toolkit for Developing Local Strategies

The Educator Shortages in Special Education Toolkit is organized around the guiding principle that short-term strategies to meet immediate demand must be intentionally paired with long-term, systemic strategies to attract, prepare, and retain effective special education teachers to create comprehensive shortage solutions. The toolkit includes the following:

  • Toolkit Facilitation Guide
  • Special Education Teacher Shortages Primer
  • Analyzing Special Education Teacher Shortages: A Data Tool for Practitioners
  • Shortage Strategy Selection Tool

Although this toolkit is designed specifically to address teacher shortages in special education, most of the pieces of the toolkit can be used to address any type of teacher shortage. 

Access the Toolkit

Featured Projects

Long Story Short: How Can We Alleviate the Shortage of Special Education Teachers?

Teacher shortages is a severe problem in special education. In this video interview, Lynn Holdheide, AIR principal technical assistance consultant, discusses her work with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform Center (CEEDAR) and Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) to address the shortage and support students with disabilities.

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Addressing the Root Causes of Teacher Shortages in Lansing Public Schools 

To examine and mitigate teacher shortages in Lansing, the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) provided a process to both analyze and address shortages through a comprehensive analysis of all aspects of the educator talent continuum, as reflected in GTL Center's Talent Development Framework (TDF). 


GTL Center Services for Educator Shortages

We offer evidence-based resources and supports to help states and their districts take a data-driven approach to understanding and taking action on teacher shortages. Our services are tied to concrete, measurable outcomes for states and districts and informed by our extensive work across the United States in the last decade. For states working on educator shortages, we offer three service levels, which can be customized and tailored to your unique needs and starting point:

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Interested in better understanding strategies for addressing teacher shortages? We offer short-term engagements to build your knowledge and expertise, including:

  • Expert consultation or subject matter experts to support knowledge building
  • Presentations or keynote speakers to provide a detailed overview of the evidence and national picture on teacher shortages
  • Single-day workshops to explore initial statewide data or provide an overview of the Educator Shortages Toolkit or the Insights on Diversifying the Educator Workforce Data Tool


Ready to invest in a comprehensive solution to teacher shortages in your state? We offer packages for 5+ day, on-site workshops to support your team in:

  • Analyzing data and engaging stakeholders to identify challenges and root causes of teacher shortages in specific subject areas, specializations, geographic areas, or teacher demographics
  • Selecting and prioritizing evidence-based strategies to address your state or district’s identified root causes
  • Action planning to connect short-term and long-term strategies as part of a comprehensive solution
  • Progress monitoring to refine and improve implementation


Are you looking for a partner to guide you step-by-step, over the long haul? We offer long-term, on-the-ground supports to development and implementation of comprehensive shortage solutions:

  • Side-by-side development, implementation, and evaluation of state and local shortage plans
  • Sustainability and scale-up of evidence-based strategies to address shortages