For example, Mitchell told Jenny Brundin of Colorado Public Radio, Genoa-Hugo Elementary School, about an hour east of Denver, had no applicants for its sole teaching opening last year, though the state graduated 1,000 teachers with elementary education credentials last year.
Rural schools have long had trouble attracting teachers because of lower salaries and isolation, and that problem seems likely to get worse in Colorado. Mitchell said so far this year, "enrollments in the state's teacher prep schools are down 23 percent compared with five years ago." Nationally, the drop was 30 percent from 2008-09 to 2012-13, Lori Higgins reports for the Detroit Free Press. In Michigan enrollment declined by 38 percent during that time.
Recruitment and retention administrator Amy Spruce told Brundin, “The sheer number of teachers that we need aren’t available so we’ve started going out of state to recruit where there’s a surplus of teachers." (Colorado Public Radio graphic)
Don Anderson, director of the East Central Board of Cooperative Educational Services, blames the political landscape, Brundin writes. He told her, "It is extremely difficult to be teacher right now in our state in my mind. In the last five to six years, we’ve had several mandates that were truly unfunded, went through a recession, put more on people’s plates and didn’t take anything off. And so that political landscape has caused people to ask, 'Do I really want to be a teacher?'" (Read more)