February 2, 2018
LANSING – The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) is leading an effort to support struggling school districts to recruit, hire, and support teachers to meet the needs of the students in those districts.
Nationally, and in Michigan, there is growing concern over the number of teachers entering and leaving the workforce. A consistent challenge that many school districts face is not having teachers in all their classrooms, according to State Superintendent Brian Whiston.
“If a school district doesn’t have enough teachers for their classrooms, it results in large class sizes and students aren’t provided with the kind of focused instruction that will help them learn,” Whiston said.
Ensuring that Michigan has an adequately staffed education workforce requires MDE, local districts, Educator Preparation Institutions, parents and communities to work together as partners.
The strategies the Michigan Department of Education is deploying, in addition to the recommendations for other partners, are articulated in MDE’s Educator Staffing Strategic Plan and span: recruitment into the profession, preparation & certification and staffing & retention.
While these efforts support all schools, MDE is also focusing additional support on the state’s new Partnership Districts – those districts with the lowest-performing schools identified earlier this year – to address any teacher shortages in those districts.
For Partnership Districts, MDE is engaging in on-site technical assistance meetings to discuss workforce challenges and determine ways to address staffing needs, providing flexibilities and helping reach creative long- and short-term solutions; assisting with the development of strategic partnerships between educator preparation providers and schools to develop recruitment pipelines based on schools' needs; and collaborating with education organizations to coordinate support efforts.