Forty-Five Percent of Public Schools Operating Without a Full Teaching Staff in October, New NCES Data Show
December 6, 2022
More than 80 percent of K-12 schools experienced supply-chain issues; food services were most commonly identified as impacted by supply-chain disruptions
WASHINGTON (December 6, 2022)—As of October 2022, 18 percent of public schools had one teaching vacancy and 27 percent had multiple teaching vacancies, according to data released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the statistical center within the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The average public school had two vacant teaching positions, and 4 percent of all public school teaching positions across the country were vacant.
“Public schools continue to have difficulty filling critical positions, with higher percentages of high-poverty schools and schools with high-minority student populations experiencing teaching vacancies than other schools,” said NCES Commissioner Peggy G. Carr. “But these data show that teacher vacancies are not the only challenge facing schools this academic year. The majority of schools have experienced problems acquiring necessities like food, electronics, and furniture because of supply-chain issues during this school year so far. These data provide insight into the challenges emanating from the COVID-19 pandemic that schools continue to experience.”
More than half of public schools in high-poverty neighborhoods (57 percent) had at least one teaching vacancy, compared to 41 percent of public schools in low-poverty neighborhoods. Sixty percent of public schools with a high-minority student body (greater than 75 percent minority) had at least one teaching vacancy, compared to 32 percent of schools with a low-minority student body (25 percent or less minority).
In addition to teaching vacancies, 83 percent of public schools reported having experienced procurement challenges that appeared to be the result of supply-chain disruptions during the 2022-23 school year. The most prevalent challenges were in procurement of food services (55 percent), laptops and other electronic devices (48 percent), and furniture (30 percent).
The three most commonly reported ways schools that have responded to supply-chain issues were reducing options available to staff and students (e.g., fewer menu items; 48 percent), purchasing products that were alternatives to those originally intended (47 percent), and identifying alternate vendors for the same products (40 percent).
The findings released today are from the School Pulse Panel, which is part of NCES's innovative approach to delivering timely information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on public K-12 schools in the U.S. on topics such as staffing, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Meal programs, school supply chains, learning mode offerings, and quarantine prevalence, as reported by school staff in U.S. public schools.
This is the tenth experimental data product from the School Pulse Panel. The findings released today are from the latest round of the experimental monthly School Pulse Panel (SPP), which collected data from 990 participating schools between October 11 and October 25, 2022.
Experimental data products are innovative statistical products created using new data sources or methodologies. Experimental data may not meet all NCES quality standards but are of sufficient benefit to data users in the absence of other relevant products to justify release. NCES clearly identifies experimental data products upon their release.
The data released today can be found on the School Pulse Panel dashboard at https://ies.ed.gov/schoolsurvey/.
Learning Modes and Quarantine Prevalence
The National Center for Education Statistics, a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, is the statistical center of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education; conduct and publish reports; and review and report on education activities internationally. Follow NCES on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube and subscribe to the NCES News Flash to receive email notifications when new data is released.
The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is the independent and nonpartisan statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to provide scientific evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and to share this information in formats that are useful and accessible to educators, parents, policymakers, researchers, and the public.