Michigan public schools are faced with a growing shortage of substitute teachers, according to a study co-authored by Public Policy Associates Senior Research Associate Nathan Burroughs. The research was funded by the Michigan Applied Public Policy Research grant program and the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, both at Michigan State University (where Burroughs is also affiliated).

Nearly two-thirds of school administrators responding to a survey reported they were unable to find sufficient substitute teachers multiple times a week. Shortages were reported in every part of the state. The report is available here.

“There is a very broad-based perception that there is an acute shortage of substitutes, and the problem appears to be getting worse,” Dr. Burroughs told Bridge magazine, which reported on the study. You can read the full article here.

Although little research is available on the impact of substitute shortages on educational outcomes, “we have strong reasons to believe that subs play an important role in how schools function. It’s essential that we learn more about how to solve this problem,” Dr. Burroughs said.

Dr. Burroughs is part of Public Policy Associates’ education team. He is also a member of the Lansing Board of Education.

For more information about the study or PPA’s education work, contact Dr. Burroughs at nburroughs@publicpolicy.com or 517-485-4477.