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Colorado's Educator Shortage Survey Results
As part of the strategic action plan developed in response to Colorado House Bill 17-1003, the Colorado Department of Education surveys the state’s school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) about the employment of teachers, special services providers (SSPs), and starting with the 2019-20 survey, principals/assistant principals and paraprofessionals. The Educator Shortage Survey results include the facts about the number of vacant educator positions and the ways those vacancies were filled, if they were filled at all. These shortage data allow CDE to identify educator shortage areas across the state and report to the Colorado Legislature to inform decisions regarding support for recruiting and retaining educators.
Information regarding 2022-23 Educator Shortage Survey results, including the survey results summary, highlights, and additional details is available below. Summaries of prior year shortage survey results are also available on this page.
Summary Survey Results
View a summary of the 2022-23 state-level educator shortage results with data provided separately for teacher, SSP, building leadership (principal/assistant principal) and paraprofessional positions. Data are also presented by teaching subject area, SSP type and rural designation (small rural, rural, or non-rural, as defined by the Rural Education Council).
Detailed information about the number of positions filled by specific shortage mechanisms (including hiring long-term substitutes, retired educators, alternative licensure program candidates and emergency authorizations holders), the number of positions that went unfulfilled and recruiting strategies used are also available through the interactive dashboard and/or in the downloadable Excel file.
Highlights from the 2022-23 state-level summary include:
- Over 9,700 teaching and SSP positions needed to be hired for in 2022-23, which includes all available teacher and SSPs positions within a district and across districts. These positions are available to be filled by educators switching districts and/or schools and newly trained educators completing preparation programs. This represents 15% of all teaching and 20% of all SSP positions in the state, an increase of five percentage points for teachers and four percentage points for SSPs compared to the previous year. Over 450 principal/assistant principal positions and over 3,600 paraprofessional positions needed to be hired for in 2022-23, also increases over the previous year.
- Of the 8,294 teaching positions to hire, 722 (9%) remained unfilled for the school year and 1,486 (18%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. The number of unfilled teaching positions increased from 440 in the previous school year to 722, a 64% increase.
- Of the 1,465 total SSP positions to hire, 257 (18%) remained unfilled for the school year and 153 (10%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. The proportion of unfilled SSP positions rose by nearly 34% (up from 192 in the 2021-2022 academic year).
- Of the 472 total principal/assistant principal positions to hire, 10 (2%) remained unfilled for the entire school year and 22 (5%) were filled through a shortage mechanism, representing a small increase in the percentages of principal/assistant principal positions unfilled and filled through a shortage mechanism compared to the prior year.
- Of the 3,644 total paraprofessional positions to hire, 570 (16%) remained unfilled for the entire school year and 74 (2%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. The number of unfilled paraprofessional positions increased by 178% in 2022-23, up from 205 the previous year.
- In core teaching subject areas, statewide shortages were greatest in the following areas (listed in descending order): special education, early childhood education, mathematics, science and world languages.
- In SSP categories, shortages of school social workers, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists and school counselors were the most common statewide.
Educator Shortage Data for Prior Years
In 2017, in response to Colorado House Bill 17-1003, Strategic Plan to Address Teacher Shortages, CDE and the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) collaboratively collected data to analyze the state’s educator shortage problem via a voluntary version of the survey to develop a strategic action plan.
- Voluntary Educator Shortage Survey results from the 2017-18 school year represent a sample of 47% of school districts and are therefore not comparable to survey results from subsequent school years, which represent all Colorado LEAs.
- View a summary of 2018-19 state-level educator shortage results with data provided separately for teaching and SSP positions and reported by teaching subject area, SSP category and district type (small rural, rural and non-rural).
- View a summary of state-level educator shortage results for the years below that contain data provided separately for teacher, SSP, building leadership (principal/assistant principal) and paraprofessional positions. Data are also represented by teaching subject area, SSP type and rural designation (small rural, rural, or non-rural):
Federally Reported Educator Shortage Areas
Each year, the Educator Talent Division reports educator shortage areas to the US Department of Education in the Teacher Shortage Area report. The Federal data collection is intended to serve three primary purposes:
- Notify the nation that States and schools may potentially need to hire academic administrators, licensed teachers, other educators and school faculty of specific disciplines/subject areas, grade levels, and/or geographic regions.
- Serve as a useful resource for recent graduates of schools of education and trained, experienced teaching professionals aspiring to serve school districts with shortages about potential opportunity areas in each state’s and territory’s Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12 classrooms.
- Serve as a useful resource in the process of advising Federal student financial aid recipients of the potential to reduce, defer, or discharge student loan repayments by teaching in certain areas.
2023-24 Statewide Shortage Areas for Teachers in Colorado Public Schools
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
- Drama Theater Arts
- Early Childhood Education
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Elementary Education
- English Language Arts
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Gifted Education
- Health Education
- Industrial Arts
- Instructional Technology/Computer Science
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
- Special Education Generalist
- Special Education Specialist: Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Special Education Specialist: Visually Impaired
- Teacher Librarian
- Visual Arts
- World Languages
2023-24 Statewide Shortage Areas for Special Services Providers in Colorado Public Schools
- School Counselor
- School Nurse
- School Occupational Therapist
- School Physical Therapist
- School Psychologist
- School Social Worker
- School Speech-Language Pathologist
2023-24 Rural Shortage Areas in Colorado Public Schools
- All teacher content/endorsement areas
- All SSP areas