State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice Comments on Teacher Shortage Report

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

February 20, 2020

LANSING – In response to the recently-released report Examining Michigan’s Education Workforce, How to Address the Talent Shortage Facing Michigan’s Schools, State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice offered the following statement:

“We appreciate the fine work done by the study’s partners – MEA, AFT Michigan, and Middle Cities Education Association – as well as the consulting work of Public Policy Associates. The work shines a light on a major challenge in Michigan public education, namely, a substantial teacher shortage that has hurt public schools and reduced support for our children. We are committed to working with all interested parties to rebuild a profession that continues to be among the most honorable in our society, but which has been badly undermined and denigrated over the last half decade.

“We must strengthen our efforts to address the causes of the teacher shortage. We must promote the value of our teaching profession and provide greater compensation for educators and greater supports for our schools. We must reduce the evaluation time burden on our teachers and administrators from the state’s evaluation laws so they can focus on instruction and student nurturing. We must cultivate a renewed interest in teaching through teacher cadet and grow-your-own teacher programs at the district level.

“The governor’s proposed state budget includes funding for teacher supports and teacher cadet programs that the state legislature should adopt as an opening pledge to respond to Michigan’s teacher shortage.”