Mismatch Between Policy Efforts and Projected Need for ESL Teachers

By Amy M. Hightower & Sterling C. Lloyd — January 14, 2009 1 min read

For the first time in its 13-year history, Quality Counts provides a comprehensive examination of state efforts to address the challenge of educating English-language learners (ELLs). Produced by Education Week and the EPE Research Center, Quality Counts 2009: Portrait of a Population maps the demographic trends of this diverse, rapidly growing group of students and highlights state policies that support English-learners.

In one of its major findings, the report reveals a significant mismatch between the projected need for English-as-a-second-language (ESL) teachers and state policies designed to increase the supply of such specialists. An analysis of federal data by the EPE Research Center shows that states collectively anticipate the need for at least 56,000 new ESL teachers in the coming years, an increase of more than 38 percent above the current ESL workforce. Texas reported the highest demand among the states providing data, calling for 14,000 additional ELL teachers. Two states projected no additional demand in the next five years. In an effort to increase the ranks of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) specialists, only 11 states currently offer such incentives as scholarships and tuition reimbursement to teachers earning an ESL endorsement.

For more state-by-state data on ELL students and other topics, search the EPE Research Center’s Education Counts database.