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Interactive Map: Understanding Teacher Shortages in California

A district- and county-level analysis of the factors influencing teacher supply and demand

This map highlights a number of key factors that reflect and influence teacher supply and demand and signal whether California districts and counties are likely to have an adequate supply of qualified teachers to fill their classrooms.

Supply factors indicate the nature of the teacher supply available to and hired by districts and, consequently, the kinds of teachers available to students. These factors influence the extent to which districts are able to provide students with a stable, qualified, experienced, and diverse teacher workforce. Specifically:
  • The proportion of new hires with substandard credentials is a strong indicator of teacher shortages because districts can receive authorization to hire such teachers only when fully prepared and credentialed teachers are not available.
  • The proportions of new hires and beginning teachers can signal the amount of teacher turnover in the district or a need to hire in response to growing student enrollments or efforts to reduce student-teacher ratios.
  • The proportion of teachers of color is an important metric for districts that are increasingly recognizing the benefits teachers of color afford all students, and especially students of color.
  • The 1-year re-entrant rate (percentage of teachers who re-enter teaching by returning to the same district they left within 1 school year) describes an important source of supply, along with newly hired teachers.
Demand factors indicate the contributors to districts’ and counties’ need to hire additional teachers. Specifically:
  • Teacher turnover—teachers moving schools or leaving teaching in the state—drives most of the need to hire teachers.
  • Teacher attrition refers to the proportion of teachers leaving teaching in the state. Nationally, less than one third of teacher attrition is due to retirements.
  • The percentage of teachers who are aged 50 and older or 60 and older can signal the extent to which imminent retirements might create demand for new teacher hires.
  • Recent and projected changes in student enrollment influence current and future district hiring needs.
  • Teachers needed to reduce student-teacher ratio to pre-recession levels indicates how many teachers would be needed to return to the levels of staffing that were in place before state budget cuts from 2008 to 2012 caused teacher layoffs and growing class sizes.
  • Projected teacher hires reflects district estimates of how many teachers they will need to hire in the following year as a function of the factors noted above.
Teacher supply and demand factors may vary for a range of reasons, including local teaching conditions, teacher compensation, economic and demographic conditions, and availability of nearby teacher preparation programs, among others. As a result, there can be disparities both among and within districts and counties.


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The data presented in this map are drawn from several public-use and restricted-use California data sources, representing the most recent data available for analysis. Depending on the specific statistic, these sources are from 2016, 2017, or 2018. Some localities may have recently experienced changes in policies or conditions that would change the statistic reported if it were collected today. To limit geographic overlap with traditional districts, the map does not display data for most charter schools that are independent local education agencies, except in the rare case that an entire traditional district has transitioned to become an all-charter school district.

There may be discrepancies in data reported at the state and local levels, or in data collected and reported at different points in the same school year. If you are aware of a significant discrepancy, please report it by emailing [email protected]. Complete notes and source information are available here: Last updated November 2019.

Suggested citation: Learning Policy Institute. (2019). Understanding teacher shortages in California: A district- and county-level analysis of the factors influencing teacher supply and demand (interactive map). Palo Alto, CA: Learning Policy Institute.