BALTIMORE, MD – As Maryland schools prepare to welcome students back for the 2023-2024 school year, many districts still struggle to fill teaching positions amid a nationwide teacher shortage. In response, the state passed the Educator Shortage Act in 2022 to attract and retain more teachers in Maryland. While many prospective teachers are grateful for the support, some feel that more needs to be done to address the root causes of the shortage.
The Educator Shortage Act
The Educator Shortage Act, signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan in May 2022, provides several incentives to encourage people to become teachers in Maryland. These include student loan forgiveness for certified teachers who work in high-need areas, grants for teacher preparation programs, and bonuses for teachers who work in hard-to-staff schools. The law also creates a task force to study the causes of the teacher shortage and recommend different solutions.
Prospective Teachers Respond
Many prospective teachers in Maryland are grateful for the support provided by the Educator Shortage Act. “As someone currently studying to become a teacher, it’s reassuring to know that the state is taking steps to address the shortage,” said Sarah Johnson, a student at Towson University. “The loan forgiveness program is beneficial since student debt is a big barrier for many who want to become teachers.”
However, some prospective teachers feel that more needs to be done to address the root causes of the teacher shortage. “While the Educator Shortage Act is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t address some of the underlying issues that are causing the shortage,” said John Smith, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland. “We need to look at things like teacher pay, working conditions, and the lack of support for new teachers if we want to attract and retain more teachers in Maryland.”
The teacher shortage remains a pressing issue as Maryland schools prepare to welcome students back for the new school year. While the Educator Shortage Act provides some support for prospective and current teachers, many feel that more needs to be done to address the root causes of the shortage. As the state’s task force begins its work, what other solutions will be proposed to address this ongoing issue remains to be seen.