Washington State House Democrats


House approves bill to address teacher shortage crisis

OLYMPIA – The House of Representatives passed another bill aimed at getting more qualified teachers into our classrooms to address the growing teacher crisis in Washington.

HB 2573 would ramp up teacher recruitment efforts, encourage retired teachers to return to the classroom as mentors and advisors, and offer additional financial aid for new educators.

“Our school districts don’t have a teacher shortage problem, they have a crisis,” said Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) speaking in support of the measure on the House floor. “This bill addresses the critical needs of our one million school kids by putting a quality teacher in every classroom.”

Over half of recently surveyed principals said they are in “crisis mode” and unable to find adequate subs most days.

Survey highlights included:

  • 45 percent of principals weren’t able to fill all teacher positions with fully-certified teachers who met the job qualifications.
  • 61 percent of urban schools still had classroom teacher positions that were unfilled in mid-October.
  • 24 percent of principals reported being in “crisis mode” and unable to find qualified, certificated candidates, while another 69 percent reported it is a significant challenge to find enough candidates.
  • 74 percent of principals had to cover a classroom within the past five school days because no substitute teacher was available.
  • 54 percent reported being in “crisis mode” and unable to find enough substitutes on most days; another 44 percent said it is a significant challenge to find enough substitutes.

HB 2573 was approved 92-6. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.