Washington, D.C. – When Oregon’s school year begins this fall, more than 3,500 of the teachers will not be returning to the schools in which they taught last year. Replacing them could cost the state more than $46 million, according to conservative estimates by the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Although some are changing jobs after many years in teaching, many of those abandoning the classroom altogether are new teachers – nationally, almost 50 percent of teachers will leave the profession within the first five years of entering it. Of the total number of teachers not returning to their schools, more than 1,500 are leaving their profession altogether, costing the state about $19 million in replacement costs. Others are transferring to other schools, at an approximate cost of another $27 million.
The Alliance’s calculations are presented in a new brief, Teacher Attrition: A Costly Loss to the Nation and to the States, which examines the high price states could pay each year to recruit teachers to fill classroom vacancies. The brief can be found at http://www.all4ed.org/publications/TeacherAttrition.pdf
“The price of losing so many teachers, particularly so many who have just begun their teaching careers, is enormous in terms of dollars,” said Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and the former governor of West Virginia, “but it’s also costly in terms of the quality of education we provide our students. Teachers who stay in the classroom gain experience and their students benefit.”
Added Wise, “Certainly, we need to attract additional talented individuals to our teaching ranks, but we must also concentrate on keeping them there, by providing comprehensive support programs that help new teachers develop the practical skills they need for success and give veteran teachers opportunities to take on new challenges that will enhance their careers.”
The annual cost of teacher turnover was calculated by the Alliance for Excellent Education using data from the U.S. Department of Education, an analysis by Dr. Richard Ingersoll of the University of Pennsylvania for the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future, and statistics from the National Education Association.
The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington-based policy, research, and advocacy organization that works to make every child a graduate, prepared for postsecondary education and success in life. It is funded by the Leeds Family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Daniels Fund, and the New York Community Trust, as well as by concerned individuals.
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