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Colorado's Educator Shortage Survey Results


The Colorado Department of Education surveyed 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 2019-2020 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.

Educator Talent Policy Updates

Visit this webpage for an overview of legislation passed by the General Assembly and State Board of Education rule updates that will be implemented by the Educator Talent Division at CDE.


Summary Survey Results

View a summary of the 2019-20 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 below and/or in the downloadable Excel file

Highlights from the 2019-20 state-level summary include:

  • Over 8,000 teaching and SSP positions needed to be hired for in 2019-20, representing 13% of all teaching and 17% of all SSP positions in the state. The number of open positions was slightly lower than in the preceding school year for both teachers and SSPs. Over 400 principal/assistant principal positions and over 1,600 paraprofessional positions needed to be hired for in 2019-2020.
  • Of the 7,242 total teaching positions to hire, 147 (2%) remained unfilled for the school year and 985 (14%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. This represents a slight decrease in the percentage of positions that remained unfilled and a slight increase in the percentage of positions filled through a shortage mechanism from the prior year.
  • Of the 1,123 total SSP positions to hire, 76 (7%) remained unfilled for the school year and 69 (6%) were filled through a shortage mechanism, representing a small decrease in the percentages of SSP positions unfilled and filled through a shortage mechanism compared to the prior year.
  • Of the 421 total principal/assistant principal positions to hire, 20 (5%) remained unfilled for the entire school year and 8 (2%) were filled through a shortage mechanism.
  • Of the 1,688 total paraprofessional positions to hire, 45 (3%) remained unfilled for the entire school year and 15 (1%) were filled through a shortage mechanism.
  • In core teaching subject areas, shortages of mathematics, science, special education and early childhood teachers were evident statewide.
  • In SSP categories, shortages of school psychologists, school physical therapists, school social workers and school speech-language pathologists 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).


Survey Results

Use the interactive dashboard below to view state- and district-level data displayed visually. Hover over the map to view data for each district. Use the drop-down menu to filter the data by academic year and endorsement area. Select non-rural, rural, small rural, BOCES or other to highlight the data for the selected rural designation. Please note that selecting BOCES or other will only highlight the corresponding data in the bar graph because geographical displays are not available in the map for these LEAs  

If you need this information in an alternate format, please refer to the  2018-19 downloadable Excel file and the 2019-2020 downloadable Excel file or you can email Educator Development staff.