PK-12 Recruitment Survey

Posted By: Jennifer Williams AASPA Blog ,

The Dynamic World of Education

The last year has been a tumultuous time for the world of education.  School closures due to COVID-19, virtual learning, social protests, political unrest, the disparity of safe physical plant facilities and COVID-19 mitigation efforts have created a disruption for teachers, staff, students and parents.  Teachers and staff feel undervalued and unprotected while parents accuse teachers of not wanting to return to in-person learning.  Often, these disagreements have taken place on social media and the negative attention has created tense relationships between educators and families.

The Future of Education in the age of COVID-19

COVID-19 could not have happened at a worse time.  Teacher graduation programs were already experiencing a decline in enrollment as well as graduates of the program.  The sudden change to virtual learning combined with the risk of contracting COVID-19 caused many teachers and staff who had been contemplating retirement to accelerate their decision.  Teachers and staff found themselves simultaneously educating their classes while parenting their own children.  Educators prevailed and with the distribution of effective COVID-19 vaccines, many educators and students have been able to return safely to their classrooms.  Even though a “return to normal” can be seen on the horizon, a gap in staffing remains between the decline in new teacher candidates and the exit of educators from the profession.  Tasked with the challenge of recruiting, hiring and ultimately retaining educators are school personnel administrators.  A key goal of the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA) has always been and will remain, to help elevate the profession of human capital resources in education and assist school districts in recruitment and retention of high-quality talent for the education of students in PK-12.  

The Survey

AASPA recently conducted a survey of members and non-members on Recruitment of staff.  Of the 300 respondents, 94% represented public schools across the country and nearly 70% were from urban and suburban communities.  While 67% of the respondents reported a decrease in enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year, nearly the same percentage of respondents expected an increase or unchanged enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year. 

When asked what were the expectations for school funding in 2021-2022, 36.82% responded it was still unknown what school funding would look like.  A staggering 29.73% anticipated a decrease in school funding, while 17.23% expected no change in school funding and only 13.85% expected an increase in school funding. 

When asked regarding to substitute teachers for the 2021-2022 school year, 53.49% of respondents said they plan to increase the number of substitute teachers and 31.56% said they do not plan to change the number of substitute teachers.  Less than 3% said they plan to decrease their substitute teacher staff.

A definitive majority of respondents are not planning on any changing the number of building leaders, district leaders, maintenance/facilities or food service staff.  A simple majority do not plan on changing staffing levels of bus drivers or support staff.

Agreeing that COVID-19 has changed the landscape of recruiting, 77.18% of respondents said they plan to recruit for the 2021-2022 school year through virtual career fairs sponsored by colleges or organizations.

I encourage you to view the results of the survey. Click here to access summary data. Detailed response data is available to AASPA members only. To access the Members Only detailed survey, you will need to log in to the AASPA website and look under Member Benefits.