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Workforce development, K-12 teacher shortages top list of state higher ed leaders’ concerns

Dive Transient: 

  • Bettering workforce improvement and addressing Ok-12 instructor shortages are prime of thoughts for state larger training leaders because the 2023 legislative classes start, in line with a brand new survey from the State Increased Training Government Officers Affiliation. 
  • Roughly 95% of surveyed larger training leaders known as these points both necessary or essential. Filling out the remaining prime 5 most necessary points have been state funding for monetary support packages, state working help for public faculties, and the worth proposition of upper training. 
  • The survey additionally pinpointed two rising points — or matters producing information protection and prompting necessary discussions. They’re the dual issues of scholar well being and security, and scholar fundamental wants, corresponding to meals and housing. 

Dive Perception: 

State larger training leaders have cause to be cautiously optimistic about 2023, in line with the report. 

That’s as a result of many states have funds surpluses because of cautious spending in the course of the pandemic and a robust financial restoration. Nonetheless, larger training officers are additionally coping with outdated and new points alike, together with hovering inflation, competitors for public funding and indicators of a looming recession. 

Furthermore, the pandemic remains to be harming larger training’s capacity to offer a pipeline to the workforce. Waves of employees left their jobs when the well being disaster began and have but to return. That’s left a shortfall of roughly 3.5 million employees in comparison with pre-pandemic projections of the labor pressure, in line with a November speech by Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve chair. 

SHEEO’s report highlighted a number of state initiatives meant to handle these points. 

In December, as an illustration, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson introduced the state’s larger training and workforce improvement division was awarding $20 million in grants to some two dozen faculties. The funding is supposed partly to handle the pandemic’s results on agriculture and provide chains, in line with the announcement. 

Employee shortages in the course of the pandemic additionally fell exhausting on the instructing career. A working paper from August estimated 36,000 Ok-12 instructing positions are vacant and roughly 163,000 roles are stuffed by underqualified academics. 

These points are essential to larger training, SHEEO notes. Schools depend on the Ok-12 system to organize college students for his or her curriculum. In the meantime, faculties are additionally accountable for serving to graduate extra certified academics. 

State lawmakers try to handle these points. Michigan lawmakers, as an illustration, lately authorised a 2023 state funds offering $305 million to pay tuition and different prices for individuals who wish to be academics, The Heart Sq. reported. 

SHEEO survey respondents additionally expressed issues about perennial points in larger training. Greater than 9 in 10 stated addressing fairness gaps and faculty affordability have been both necessary or essential. 

Barely decrease shares stated the identical of enrollment declines, state funding for monetary support packages, larger training’s worth proposition, public notion of upper training and state working help for public faculties. 

Of much less concern to state larger training officers was immigration and undocumented college students, with lower than 20% of these surveyed describing this challenge as necessary or essential. Considerations about educational freedom and the pandemic’s results on establishments have been additionally comparatively low, with fewer than 30% of respondents calling every of these components necessary. 

The net survey was despatched to 61 SHEEO members in late November and closed in mid-December.

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