Enrollment is growing and Maryland school systems are finding difficulty retaining and recruiting teachers.
As the Kirwan Commission discusses recommendations for education policy changes, some Maryland counties are proactively recruiting qualified educators from around the country. The Baltimore Sun reports that counties including Baltimore County, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore City will be hiring more teachers in order to meet the needs of growing enrollment.
“Teacher shortages are common across the country, but Maryland is unique among surrounding states because its schools of education don’t produce enough graduates to fill the teacher vacancies each year. An “import” state, Maryland must attract about half its new teachers from out-of-state, many from Pennsylvania.
In addition, the number of undergraduates majoring in education in Maryland is falling.
With a shortage of teachers, the Kirwan Commission is calling for elevating the prestige of the teaching profession by making it more competitive to enter the profession and more difficult to pass the tests for a teaching certificate.”
The Kirwan Commission recommendations also include bringing the starting salary to $60,000/year (currently averaging $45,000/year but varying widely by jurisdiction) within three years, basing pay increase on merit in order to encourage teachers to stay in the classroom rather than moving into other roles.