The U.S. is Facing a Bilingual Teacher Shortage
By ALEJANDRA AREVALO
While there has been a growing teacher shortage in the United States for a couple years already, the pandemic accelerated and aggravated this trend. A recent investigation by ABC News found that more than three quarters of states are facing teacher shortages, especially for specialized roles like special education and STEM.
One overlooked group of specialized teachers are bilingual educators who are capable of teaching in Spanish and English. Unfortunately, there is no aggregated data on the number of bilingual educators nationwide but advocates told Axios that the teacher shortage crisis is particularly affecting bilingual education.
According to a 2019 U.S. Census report, 62% of households in the United States speak Spanish, making it the most spoken non-English language in the country. Out of those Spanish speakers, 16% are between the ages of 5 and 14, which, along with Arabic, is the greatest share of young speakers of any non-English language. The numbers speak for themselves and emphasize the importance of providing bilingual education in schools across the nation.