State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman Statement on 2020 Educator Supply and Demand Report

December 21, 2020

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman released the following statement in response to the release of the 2020 Educator Supply and Demand Report by the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA).

“If there has been any good to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that South Carolinians have a newfound appreciation for the tremendous job that teachers have in educating our students,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “However, the pandemic has intensified the teacher crisis in our state as evidenced by the report released today. Now is the time for state and local leaders to come together for current and future educators by supporting financial incentives, policies, and programs that will help ensure we have a strong, high quality teacher workforce serving our students for years to come.”

The South Carolina Department of Education and Superintendent Spearman have called for the following actions to address the state’s teacher shortage:

  • Retroactively fund the annual step increase for 2020-21.

  • Provide a minimum of a 2% salary increase for all teachers in fiscal year 2021-22  budget as well as work towards the goal of aligning South Carolina with the national average for teacher pay in future budgets.

  • Support and increase awareness of successful grow-your-own initiatives such as Call Me MiSTERProTeamTeacher Cadets, and SC-PRRMT.

  • Provide teachers with protected unencumbered planning time to dedicate to non-instructional tasks.

  • Fund the salary supplement for National Board Certified Teachers.

  • Increase the teacher supply supplement amount available to teachers.

  • Provide for step increases through 28 years of service.

  • Streamline the teacher evaluation process and evaluate requirements for teacher certification and recertification to maximize efficiency.

Highlights from the CERRA Educator Supply and Demand Report 

  • South Carolina school districts reported 55,660 full-time and part-time certified teaching/service positions allocated for the 2020-21 school year. Compared to 2019-20 data, this is a small increase of about 5% or 2,600 positions. Districts presumably created new positions to staff the virtual schools and academies established in response to COVID-19.

  • Districts reported fewer departures overall.

    • 5,996 teachers from 2019-20 did not return to a teaching/service position in the same district in 2020-21; this is a 10% decrease compared to the number of departures reported last year (6,650) and 22% decrease from 18-19 (7,340).

  • The total number of newly hired SC teachers for the 2020-21 school year was 6,308, a decrease of 6% and approximately 400 teachers compared to data from last year.

    • Twenty-four percent of new hires are recent graduates from a SC teacher education program.

    • 10% (648) of all new hires for the 2020-21 school year are first-year participants in an alternative certification program or they recently completed a CTE work-based certification program in South Carolina.

  • Districts reported more vacant teaching/service positions.

    • 699 teaching/service positions were still vacant at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year; this is an increase of 143 compared to last year.

    • Districts were asked to include interventionists with literacy and mathematics positions, thus providing an explanation for the increase in these categories.

    • Special education represents the largest majority of vacancies each year. This trend continues in 2020-21 with 20% of vacancies coming from special education.

The 2020 CERRA Educator Supply ​and Demand Report and previous annual reports can be found by visiting –