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Legislative Update

DPI releases new report on Wisconsin’s teacher supply and demand

by | Feb 9, 2023 | Legislative Update Blog, State Issue

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has released a new report on teacher supply and demand in Wisconsin, entitled “2021 Educator Preparation Program and Workforce Analysis Report.”


Among the key findings of the report:

  • Teaching areas in which shortages are most acute include, special education (particularly cross categorical), Language Arts (reading), Math, Science, Career and Technical Education (CTE), Art and Music, and English as a Second Language (ESL).

  • Wisconsin continues to outpace neighboring states in the number of students enrolling in educator preparation programs (EPP). Yet fewer Wisconsin students are completing programs.
    • To complete a preparation program, students must finish all requirements, including student teaching and any required tests (i.e., the Foundations of Reading Test (FORT). (Students who do not pass the FORT are not endorsed for licensure as an elementary, reading, or special education teacher and cannot be counted as completers.)
    • The low FORT passage rates, at 54% percent for first-time test takers, is undoubtedly impacting the workforce. Those who cannot pass the test are not considered program completers. While they may earn their bachelor’s degree in education they will not be endorsed for a license until they pass the FORT. These individuals may still teach, but only on Tier I one-year licenses with stipulations while they attempt to pass the test.
  • EPP enrollment in Wisconsin declined from 2008-09 through 2017-18. Although enrollment appears to have bounced back somewhat in 2019-20, it is still below 2008-09 levels.
  • Like enrollment, the number of EPP completers has declined until 2018-19 but increased a little in 2019-20. Unlike enrollment, the decline in EPP completion puts Wisconsin in the middle of the pack of our surrounding states. The DPI does not have data as to why there is a difference in completion relative to enrollment so this will need to be a focus of further analysis.
  • Among the 2020-21 cohort, 79% of EPP completers went on to be licensed in Wisconsin and only 67% were ultimately employed in a Wisconsin public school. The result of this loss is that out of a possible 5,400 new public school teachers, the state only added 3,600.
  • Wisconsin’s teacher workforce is overwhelmingly white and female, Further, there have been no significant changes in the makeup of the teaching workforce in Wisconsin. Teacher demographics are starkly different than the makeup of the student population in the state.
    • This difference matters in terms of student outcomes as research has shown that having a teacher of the same race improves outcomes for students of color.
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