“State Efforts to Combat Teacher Shortages: A look at new laws and investments in the Midwest” ~ PDF


Interest in being a classroom teacher has waned in recent years, and state policymakers are having to confront how best to incentivize qualified applicants to fill long-existing vacancies, keep current educators in the classroom, and encourage more people to enter the profession.

Whether it includes adopting licensure accommodations, offering financial aid, or providing upskilling opportunities, the tactics that Midwestern states are taking to recruit and retain educators are purposely multifaceted.

This issue brief showcases the myriad strategies Midwestern state legislatures and agencies have implemented in recent years, with a focus on the years 2021 through 2023. Among the ideas:

  • New or expanded scholarship programs for prospective teachers;
  • Loan forgiveness and bonuses for existing teachers;
  • State-level changes in licensure requirements and teacher preparation programs;
  • Targeted assistance for paraprofessionals to become licensed educators; and
  • Help for school districts in expanding their pool of substitute teachers.

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