As American Education Week begins, 337,000 vacancies in the public education sector remain

    Annual recognition serves as a reminder that education is a shared responsibility and swift action is needed to support U.S. schools and institutions

    Key Takeaways

    • American Education Week celebrates the work of educators and school support staff annually. We all benefit from the dedicated efforts of these professionals and should actively engage in supporting our school communities.
    • Substitute educators play a crucial role in supporting the continuity of learning in schools and alleviating educator burnout. Substitute teachers also serve as potential candidates for full-time teaching positions.
    • As vacancies continue to surge, school districts should prioritize substitute talent management in their workforce models. To learn more about building an effective substitute educator program, visit

    Troy, Mich. (November 13, 2023) – American Education Week, recognized from November 13-17, shines a spotlight on the invaluable professionals who dedicate their lives to enriching our schools. This celebration serves as an important reminder to pause and appreciate the profound impact school administrators, educators, and support professionals have on our society, underscoring the need for us to stand with them and advocate for a better future.

    Openings have increased while hiring struggles to keep up.

    According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the number of public education openings (including K-12 and higher education) has seen a notable increase of 14% compared to the same period last year. However, the hiring rate in the public education sector has experienced only a slight increase of 3%. This gap suggests continued challenges in the recruitment process as well as other underlying issues that affect employee retention. It also underscores the importance of fostering strong relationships between schools and communities as well as K-12 and higher education partnerships to create meaningful change and overcome these challenges.

    “As we commemorate American Education Week at Kelly Education, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to educators and education support professionals across the county,” said Nicola Soares, president of Kelly Education. “Throughout the week, we acknowledge the remarkable efforts of thousands of Kelly educators and support professionals. Our dedicated team members tirelessly step in to ensure students continue their learning journey seamlessly, even when their regular teacher is absent. This unwavering commitment to education resonates every single day."

    Unsung heroes of education.

    November 15 is Education Support Professionals Day, and the last day of American Education Week is Substitute Educators Day, a testament to the insurmountable role substitute educators and support professionals play in the continuity of learning, creating a stable environment where students can grow and achieve.

    Substitute teachers are crucial in mitigating teacher burnout by providing educators with much-needed breaks to recharge, attend to personal matters, or pursue professional development opportunities. Support professionals, from food service workers, custodians, and secretaries to nurses, paraeducators, therapists and tutors, ensure inclusion, equity and the holistic development of each student. The task of recruiting and hiring these crucial players grows more daunting by the day as teacher vacancies continue to surge.

    Future full-time educators are already in the classroom.

    Substitute educators bring diverse experiences and perspectives to the schools they serve, enriching the educational environment. For those who are passionate about making a positive impact, substitute teaching offers a chance to explore a career in education firsthand. This role provides essential classroom experience and a deep understanding of the school's policies, curriculum, and culture. Such insights can prove invaluable when considering a transition to a full-time position, creating a seamless pathway toward a rewarding career in education.

    Through partnerships with select institutions and providers, Kelly Education substitute teachers can work toward earning a teaching certificate or obtaining a bachelor's or master's degree requirements.  Last year, more than 1,000 Kelly Education substitute educators signed up to learn about the Accelerated Certification and Education program, highlighting the potential districts must grow their teacher pipeline from within their school community.

    To learn how the 2022 Florida Principal of the Year uses substitute educators in their teacher pipeline strategy, visit:


    About Kelly Education 
    Kelly Education powers the future of learning through customized workforce solutions, including hiring and recruiting, business management, professional development, academic, and social-emotional support across the full continuum of education––from early childhood, PK-12, special education, and therapeutic services to higher education, executive search, and beyond. Kelly Education is a business of Kelly (Nasdaq: KELYA, KELYB), a global workforce solutions provider that’s always asking what’s next in the world of work. Learn more at or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

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