Past and Projected Trends in Teacher Demand and Supply in Michigan

State and school district leaders in Michigan are concerned about the challenges some districts are facing in filling certain classroom teacher vacancies and about the harmful impact of teacher shortages on students, schools, and communities. They have asked for better and more comprehensive information on the existence and extent of teacher shortages in the state. This study provides a systematic analysis of trends in teacher demand, supply, and shortages in Michigan between 2013/14 and 2017/18 and projects shortages and surpluses for 2018/19–2022/23. State and district leaders may be able to use the findings to inform policy decisions and actions to address teacher shortages and ensure that all students have access to the teachers they need.

The study, conducted by REL Midwest, used data on personnel, certification, and substitute teacher permits from the Michigan Department of Education, along with publicly available federal and state data on district characteristics and teacher preparation and certification.


  • Total enrollment in Michigan public schools declined by 3 percent between 2013/14 and 2017/18, while enrollment of English learner students increased by 27 percent.
  • Districts in the Northwest and South Central regions of the state and in suburban and rural locales also saw increases in enrollment of students in special education and students eligible for the national school lunch program.
  • The number of Michigan full-time equivalent teachers declined by 2 percent between 2013/14 and 2017/18.
  • The number of full-time equivalent teachers of English language arts declined by 4 percent, which was 63 percent of the reduction in total full-time equivalent teachers.
  • The number of newly certified active teachers in Michigan declined by 23 percent between 2013/14 and 2017/18. The number of new teachers from in-state traditional teacher preparation programs declined even more, by 30 percent, from 2,428 to 1,701.
  • Some subject areas (particularly business education and career and technical education) and regions of the state (Upper Peninsula and Northwest) are projected to see teacher shortages between 2018/19 and 2022/23. However, the total active teacher supply in Michigan public schools is projected to meet demand during this period.