In an interview at NBC’s Education Nation Summit yesterday, Arne Duncan warned that the U.S. may face a shortage of teachers in the next decade. The expected shortfall is due to baby boomers retiring at a higher rate than young teachers are entering the field.
Duncan announced a new campaign that aims to aggressively recruit young people to fill the void. They particularly encourage students to consider becoming math, science, and special education teachers. Duncan also hopes to encourage more men to enter the teaching profession. “If we’re serious about having young men aspire to go to college, we have to put men in their lives,” said Duncan. He pointed out that only 3.5 percent of America’s teachers are black or Hispanic men.
Education officials will conduct on-campus recruiting and visit high schools to promote the new initiative. The government is also creating financial incentives for students who pursue degrees in education. The Department of Education will be offering special grants, particularly to those who are willing to work in low-income areas. They will also be offering “income-based repayment,” a program that guarantees that all college debt will be forgiven after ten years of teaching.
More information is available at Teach.gov.