Teacher Staffing Challenges in California: Examining the Uniqueness of Rural School Districts

Resource Type
  • Goldhaber, Dan (University of Washington; American Institutes for Research)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation
  • Haas Jr. Fund
  • Heising-Simons Foundation
  • S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • Silver Giving Foundation
  • Stuart Foundation
  • Abstract

    Using unique data from California on teacher job vacancies, we investigate staffing challenges across the urbanicity spectrum, focusing on the extent to which the characteristics of rural school systems explain differences in staffing challenges; as measured by vacancy rates and emergency credentialed teachers, relative to other urbanicities. We find that rural districts have significantly and substantially higher staffing challenges than districts from different urbanicity classifications (urban, suburban, and towns). Some of these differences are explained by district-level attributes, such as the proportion of students in poverty in the district. The geography of rural districts itself also explains the level of staffing challenge as rural districts are more likely to be located on a state border and to be far from teacher education programs, both of which are strongly associated with staffing challenge measures. Even after controlling for a rich set of observable covariates, there is evidence that rural districts are still somewhat more likely to face staffing challenges, suggesting there are unobserved aspects to being rural associated with the desirability of employment that are not readily captured by quantitative data.
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E120591V1

Update Metadata: 2020-08-11 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-08-11