FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 15, 2003
Report shows signs of improvement
in teacher supply
Retirements may yield shortage
The educator workforce grew last year by the lowest rate
in ten years, according to the 2002 Annual Report of Educator
Supply and Demand, prepared by the staff of the State Board
The sluggish growth in the number of teachers and administrators
was likely caused by the increasing fiscal problems of school
districts. Financial problems of school districts have been
escalating to where the State Board estimates that as many
as 85% of the state's 891 districts may be facing operating
deficits this year.
The number of new teachers hired in 2002 declined 21% after
climbing steadily for the past four years. First-time teachers
hired decreased much less (-13%) than re-entries hired (-31%),
providing another indicator that financial problems forced
districts to hire teachers who were at the lower end of the
salary scale. Re-entries constitute the third major source
of supply of the educator workforce, growing 67% between 1997
and 2001. Only 3% of the public school workforce was comprised
of re-entries in 2002, down from 4% in 2001.
In the previous ten years, the teacher workforce grew by
2% annually and the administrator workforce increased by 2.5%
each year. Overall, the educator workforce increased by only
205, or .1%, in 2002. Outside Chicago, the administrator workforce
grew less than 1%, compared to 2.6% for each of the last three
years. Teacher workforce numbers outside Chicago increased
1.9%, down from 2.5% the last three years. Growth rates for
Chicago could not be determined due to reclassification of
jobs in the district.
The report cites a number of factors that suggest an improvement
in the supply of educators. Retention of educators from the
previous year remains the largest source of educators, and
retention rates remained high in 2002. Over 93% of 2001 educators
remained in the education workforce in 2002, even though 7,000
of those were retained in different positions.
In addition, the number of certificates issued increased
over the last two years. New certificates issued to teachers
increased 15% each of the last two years, while school service
personnel certificates increased 11% and administrative certificates
increased 8% per year.
The number of students in the "pipeline" increased
in 2001. Undergraduate and graduate students in education
programs rose from just over 38 thousand in 2000 to more than
44 thousand in 2001 and students completing approved programs
of teacher education increased 12% - from 11,201 in 2000 to
12,504 in 2001.
Teacher attrition levels off; administrator attrition
continues upward trend
After increasing nearly 60% since 1996, teacher attrition
rates leveled out between 2001 and 2002, when just over 7%
of full-time teachers left education. Higher attrition rates
were recorded for alternative education (11%) and bilingual
Attrition rates for administrators, however, have more than
doubled since 1996, and the trend suggests that about 9% of
administrators would be expected to leave education in 2003.
Positions expected to have the highest attrition rates include
district superintendents and principals in elementary and
Retirements expected to increase demand, especially for
Illinois public schools are staffed by an aging workforce,
and retirements increase the demand for replacing teachers
and administrators who choose to retire. All indicators point
to an increase in educator retirements in the near future.
In 2002, nearly 17,000 (13%) of teachers and over 2600 (28%)
of administrators were eligible to retire (defined as having
20 or more years of experience and being at least 55 years
old). Retirements are expected to most affect the supply of
administrators as nearly 38% will be eligible for retirement
by 2005, while only about 18% of teachers will meet retirement
eligibility by that time.
Unfilled positions down slightly in 2001
The number of unfilled positions has increased significantly
in recent years, growing from 1,387 in 1996 to 2,637 in 2000,
then declining slightly to 2,458 in October of 2001. The greatest
number of unfilled positions were in the areas of cross categorical,
elementary, bilingual education, speech and language, music
and behavior disordered.
The report cites the following areas as having the greatest
over-production in 2002: social science, guidance counselor,
English language arts and health. Areas of likely under-production
in 2002 included: nurse, music, physical education and special
Projected areas of high demand
The report estimates that Illinois will need 44,000 teachers
through 2006 and bout 2,400 administrators and over 4,000
other educators through 2006. The greatest needs through 2006,
in terms of percentage of the 2002 workforce, are projected
Administrators/other educators: librarian/media specialist,
nurse, coordinator, assistant junior high school principal
and high school principal.
Teachers: English as a second language; special education;
agriculture; Spanish; reading/remedial reading; language
arts; bilingual; learning resource center and library;
physics and general science.
The full report is available at: