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Colorado's Educator Shortage Survey Results

Educator Shortage Survey Dashboard


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 2023-2024 Educator Shortage Report 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 2023-24 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 2023-24 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 2023-24 state-level summary include:

  • Over 8,000 teaching and SSP positions needed to be hired for in 2023-2024, 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 12% of all teaching and 15% of all SSP positions in the state, a decrease of three percentage points for teachers and five percentage points for SSPs compared to the previous year. Nearly 500 principal/assistant principal positions and over 3,400 paraprofessional positions needed to be hired for in 2023-24, which are similar to the previous year.
  • Of the 6,911 teaching positions to hire, 635 (9%) remained unfilled for the school year and 1,756 (25%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. The number of unfilled teaching positions decreased from the previous school year, while the number of teaching positions filled by a shortage mechanism increased from 1,486 to 1,756, an 18% increase.
  • Of the 1,186 total SSP positions to hire, 231 (19%) remained unfilled for the school year and 162 (14%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. This is similar to the previous year.
  • Of the 499 total principal/assistant principal positions to hire, 6 (1%) remained unfilled for the entire school year and 24 (5%) were filled through a shortage mechanism, which is also similar to the previous year.
  • Of the 3,468 total paraprofessional positions to hire, 565 (16%) remained unfilled for the entire school year and 66 (2%) were filled through a shortage mechanism. This is also very similar to the previous year.
  • In core teaching subject areas, statewide shortages were greatest in the following areas (listed in descending order): special education, mathematics, science and early childhood education.
  • In SSP categories, shortages of school counselors, speech-language pathologists, school psychologists and school social workers were the most common statewide.

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 2024-2025 list below is based on the 2023-2024 teacher shortage data and was approved by the Colorado State Board of Education in its June 2024 meeting.

2024-2025 Statewide Shortage Areas


  • Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Business/Marketing
  • Computer Science/Instructional Technology
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education
  • Dance
  • 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
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Special Education Specialist: Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Special Education Specialist: Visually Impaired
  • Teacher Librarian
  • Visual Art
  • World Languages.

Special Services Providers*

  • School Audiologist
  • School Counselor
  • School Nurse
  • School Occupational Therapist
  • School Orientation and Mobility Specialist
  • School Physical Therapist
  • School Psychologist
  • School Social Worker
  • School Speech-Language Pathologist

*Note that the 2024-2025 shortage list does not include a distinction for rural or non-rural because shortage areas are consistent statewide, which includes all rural and non-rural local education agencies.  

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):

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