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Texas Matters: The Teacher Shortage

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Do you want to be a teacher in Texas? Then prepare yourself for low pay, lousy benefits, and high stress, for being overworked, and underappreciated, caught in the middle of the Texas culture wars, worried about school shootings and deteriorating facilities, all while having a front row seat to some of the worst social situations.

Also factor in that Texas ranks as one of the worst states for teacher retirement. Retired Texas teachers have not received a cost-of-living raise since 2004, and it’s getting worse as inflation rises.

And then we wonder why there is a teacher shortage in Texas.

A high number of professional educators are abandoning their careers. Data shows most of them are new, early-career teachers. But also, many long-time master teachers are putting down the chalk and walking away.

Texas Public Radio’s education reporter Camille Phillips investigated what’s behind the teacher shortage and what’s being done about it. And she has produced a three-part series on the Texas teacher shortage.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi