An unprecedented shortage of US school supplies has led to an exodus of thousands of teachers and administrators from the country, forcing schools to close, a new report has found.
The report by the Education and Labor Research Council (ELRC) also warns of a significant deterioration in quality, including a drop in the number of teachers graduating, as well as increased workload.
The new report, released on Tuesday, also calls for an urgent end to the US trade war with China and calls for a moratorium on any trade agreements that would limit US access to China.
The ELCR’s report, titled What We Need to Know About School Supply and Quality, is the latest in a series of reports on US school supply and quality, which began in April.
The first of those reports, released by the ELCRC, found a major shortage of teachers, including nearly 6,000 positions, and a “disastrous” school safety record.
The two other reports released by ELRC this year, released in November, found that US school buildings were falling apart, with only 30 per cent of US schools meeting federal safety standards.
In November, the ERC reported that US teachers were the most poorly trained of any OECD country, with just over half of all teachers in the US lacking the required certification to teach in an accredited school.
In January, the US government reported that the number to be trained for the 2018-2019 school year had fallen by 1.3 per cent to nearly 6.3 million.
In March, the department of education announced that it was slashing its 2018 spending forecast for education and training by $1.6 billion, saying it was “overburdened” by funding demands.
“Schools are increasingly relying on state and federal funding sources to meet their funding needs,” the report said.
“The lack of state and local funding is causing a serious problem for many schools, and in some cases is putting students at greater risk.”
The US has a trade deficit with China worth $27 billion a year, but the country’s trade deficit in education is estimated at just $3.4 billion.
This is in addition to its own education costs, which amount to about $2.2 billion a month, the report found.
This, in turn, means that the US has more money than any other OECD country but the UK, France, Canada, Australia and Germany combined.
While the report noted that there was a shortage of school supplies, it also found a lack of staff trained to teach children.
There were a total of 678,000 people working in schools across the country in 2018, but this was down from more than 6.5 million in 2016, according to the report.
“Teachers are not well trained to provide instruction to students in this new environment,” it said.
The ELRC also found that more than half of US students were taught by teachers who did not have the required qualifications.
In the absence of state- and local-level certification, teachers were forced to teach students on their own, often without the training they needed.
This meant teachers were not trained to deal with “critical issues” like crisis intervention, according the report, which added that “the shortage of trained teachers, as a result of the increased workload and lack of staffing, creates a dangerous situation”.
A major concern with this situation is that schools with less than five full-time teachers, who are often students in disadvantaged circumstances, are in danger of closing, it said, with the number one cause of closure being understaffing.
It also highlighted that the quality of schools was not improving.
“Despite significant progress in improving the quality and availability of school materials, the majority of schools remain in the same state of low-quality and inadequate materials,” the ELRC said.
It noted that while some schools were making gains, “overall, many are in poor condition”.
The report also noted that the shortage of supplies is being driven by two factors: the “excess demand” from China, and the lack of teacher certification.
“While the lack for teacher certification is a problem, the real issue is the lack in the quality that teachers are getting,” it added.
In addition to a lack in certification, the ELLCR found that the supply of textbooks and textbooks in the schools was “out of whack”, with many teachers being paid to teach only one subject.
“In the absence, of certification, of materials, teachers are often not trained in critical areas such as crisis intervention,” the group said.
This “excessive demand” is creating a “critical shortage” of materials in schools, with materials “overly priced and in short supply”.
The group warned that the “resurgence of Chinese competition” in US education, which has led US school districts to seek new business partners in China, could “increase the number and cost of textbook and other supplies that teachers need”.
It also noted a “significant decline in teacher quality” and the “disruption