The United States is facing a national crisis in education with K-12 teacher shortages. The same is true for the state of South Carolina. To fully address teacher shortages, it is important to have a firm handle on the current landscape of the teacher workforce. Such datasets exist at the national level; however, until recently, there was no South Carolina-centric database. The South Carolina Teacher Education Advancement Consortium through Higher Education Research (SC-TEACHER) Center was commissioned to ascertain, through comprehensive research, the impact of teacher education recruitment, preparation, and retention activities on teacher effectiveness in South Carolina. The center is developing a South Carolina-centric longitudinal data system to contribute to an understanding of statewide issues of teacher turnover, while reconciling innovative efforts from across the state to better assess the impact those efforts are having in addressing teacher recruitment and retention. In this paper, we share findings from a study that was conducted to define the landscape of the South Carolina K-12 teacher workforce. The study examined key demographics of the teachers as well as the geographic context of the schools in which they teach and the socioeconomic context comparing various teacher demographics by the poverty level in which the schools were situated. Compared to national data, South Carolina had more Black teachers, fewer Hispanic teachers, more female teachers, more teachers with advanced degrees, and lower average teacher salary. However, the percentage of teachers of color in South Carolina is under representative of the student population suggesting the need for a focus on diversity in recruitment efforts for teacher preparation programs. Considering differences between schools in rural and urban locations of the state, rural schools tend to have teachers with more teaching experience, lower teacher performance on the assessment portion of the state teaching evaluation, and employment of more international teachers than urban schools. Comparing higher and lower poverty schools in the state, higher poverty schools tend to have more Black teachers, fewer White teachers, lower teacher salary, more international teachers, and fewer National Board-certified teachers than higher poverty schools.

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