Recruitment and Retention

TEACH Missouri

TEACH Missouri is a new, statewide initiative committed to improving the perception of the teaching profession and developing a statewide teacher recruitment system to attract the next generation of Missouri teachers. The initiative is being led by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in collaboration with education institutions, government agencies, associations, community organizations, and nonprofit stakeholders.

Over the next three years, the state is investing over $50 million to recruit and retain teacher talent. As a part of this commitment, TEACH Missouri will house a number of projects and work streams that focus on teacher recruitment retention. Specifically, the initiative includes the following, all aimed at identifying, cultivating, and supporting teachers across the state:

Teacher Recruitment and Retention Grants

Federal funds are now available for every school district, charter school, educator preparation program, and community college in the state to further invest in teacher candidate recruitment and teacher retention. Guidance can be found here.

Digital Teacher Recruitment Platform will serve as a centralized hub for prospective teachers to explore the profession, access free and comprehensive  resources (e.g., inspirational videos from fellow Missouri teachers, Certification Guides) and receive support in applying to Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) throughout the state (e.g., 1:1 coaching, financial incentives, application checklists).

Statewide Public Service Advertising (PSA) 

TV and radio ads, as well as various digital marketing campaigns, will elevate the perception of the teaching profession and generate interest among future teachers. View the PSA video here.

Pathways to Teaching Careers 

A new teacher “externship” program provides regional training sessions for teachers to become recruiters within their own school communities, mobilizing them as ambassadors for the profession.


Teacher Recruitment and Retention

Outreach Plan Presentations

Grow Your Own Resource Guide

Federal and State Reports

Educator Vacancy Report, June 2021

The data presented above was gathered through the Educator Vacancy page (Screen 21) of the Core Data System. Districts who responded this year employ over 52,000 teachers in the state, and serve over 648,000 students of Missouri. This report presents regional data on positions where vacancies were left vacant or filled with less-than-fully (LTF) certified at the highest numbers along with the number of vacancies in that category for the region.

Recruitment and Retention Annual Report, 2021

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is required to prepare an annual report to the Missouri General Assembly about the status of the teacher workforce in Missouri public schools. 

Approved Teacher Shortage Report, 2022-2023

The U.S. Department of Education has approved the content areas listed in the 2022-2023 Teacher Shortage Report as areas of critical shortage for the State of Missouri. Based on this designation, teachers that are teaching within shortage areas identified by this report are eligible for loan forgiveness. Federal loans that qualify under this designation include the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), Federal Perkins Loan, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program, Stafford Loan, and Supplemental Loans for Students (SLS). For more information please visit the U.S. Department of Education – Teacher Shortage webpage.

​Loan Forgiveness-For questions concerning Federal Stafford/SLS loans, including the teacher shortage area deferment, contact the Federal Student Aid Hotline at 800-433-3243. More information may be found at the Federal Student Aid site.


The Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development administers the grant and scholarship programs.