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News outlets declare teacher shortage in Georgia yet data shows rising numbers

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(The Center Square) — Georgia’s news outlets from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to Atlanta News First have reported about a shortage of teachers plaguing the state’s education system. Data from the state’s Department of Education paints a different picture.

Georgia had a total of 123,210 teachers in 2022-23, according to their data. This is an increase of 1,711 teachers from the previous school year when Georgia had 121,499 teachers.

Enrollment for the current school year as of March 2023 was 1,744,877 students, according to data from the Georgia Department of Education. This marks an increase of 8,718 students from March 2022 when students enrolled reached 1,736,159 students.

Georgia has seen a steady increase in teacher numbers since 2019 when there was 118,357 teachers in the system, per data from the Georgia Department of Education. Teacher numbers rose to 119,118 in 2020 with a slight bump to 119,640 in 2021.

Enrollment, meanwhile, did not see as steady of an increase over this period. During the 2019 school year, a total of 1,759, 838 students were enrolled in Georgia schools. By the following year, in 2020, the number rose to 1,760,739 students but declined by 37,612 students to a total of 1,723,127 in 2021.

Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Association of Educators did not respond in time for publication.

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