What's the Cost of Teacher Turnover?

High teacher turnover—or churn—undermines student achievement and consumes valuable staff time and resources. It also contributes to teacher shortages throughout the country, as roughly 6 of 10 new teachers hired each year are replacing colleagues who left the classroom before retirement. Research shows that urban districts can, on average, spend more than $20,000 on each new hire, including school and district expenses related to separation, recruitment, hiring, and training. These investments don’t pay their full dividend when teachers leave within 1 or 2 years after being hired. Turnover rates vary by school and district, with those in rural and urban settings or that serve high percentages of student in poverty experiencing the highest rates. Use this tool to estimate the cost of teacher turnover in your school or district and to inform a local conversation about how to attract, support, and retain a high-quality teacher workforce. High-leverage strategies are highlighted below.


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Editorial: It’s deja vu all over again with special ed teacher shortage
Resource type:
Op-Ed
Editorial: It’s deja vu all over again with special ed teacher shortage
Resource type:
Op-Ed
Resource description

Chicago Public Schools has more than 700 unfilled jobs for special ed teachers, classroom aides and clinicians. It’s trying to fill the gap by waiving the city residency requirement to hire teachers in special education and other “hard-to-staff” areas; by launching a teacher residency program with a New York-based graduate program; and by starting an early hire program that offers jobs to education students who commit to teaching in “high-needs” areas.


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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High school teacher shortage forcing schools to go digital
Resource type:
Article
High school teacher shortage forcing schools to go digital
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

Teacher shortages across the country are getting so dire that they’re forcing some school districts to live stream lessons, replacing educators in many classrooms. According to The Wall Street Journal, tens of thousands of high school students nationwide are now getting lessons taught by a remote teacher to occupy many hard-to-fill positions in areas like science, math and special education.


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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Teacher Shortage More Nuanced Than People Think
Resource type:
Article
Teacher Shortage More Nuanced Than People Think
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

This report says that the nationwide teacher shortage is much more nuanced than typically reported. One nuance is that the number of teacher graduates is growing. A nationwide study cited within the NCTQ’s report shows that there were over 3.8 million public school teachers in 2015-16 — an increase of some 400,000, or 13 percent, over the previous four years. Yet only about half of these graduates fill a teaching job on any given year. 


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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Teacher shortages worsening in majority of US states, study reveals
Resource type:
Article
Teacher shortages worsening in majority of US states, study reveals
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

This study found that of the 41 states that did respond to the survey, 28 say they are experiencing teacher shortages. Of those 28, 15 say teacher shortages have increased in the last year. Of the nine states that didn’t respond to the survey, public data suggests another eight are experiencing teacher shortages.


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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California’s persistent teacher shortage fueled by attrition, high demand, say newly released studies
Resource type:
Article
California’s persistent teacher shortage fueled by attrition, high demand, say newly released studies
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

California has earmarked nearly $200 million over the last four years to address the state’s persistent teacher shortage, but it is not enough, according to new studies that are part of “Getting Down to Facts II,” a research project focused on a wide array of statewide education issues. The teacher shortage has worsened in recent years as state funding for education improved and districts began lowering class sizes and bringing back programs like summer school and the arts, which were frequently eliminated during the recession, increasing the need for more teachers.


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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Schools Throughout the Country are Grappling with Teacher Shortage, Data Show
Resource type:
Article
Schools Throughout the Country are Grappling with Teacher Shortage, Data Show
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

Hundreds of districts across the country are grappling with a growing teacher shortage — especially in key areas such as math and special ed. Increasingly, teachers in areas like math and science are leaving for higher-paying private sector jobs after a few years. As a result, many teachers who remain are being asked to do more, and class sizes are growing. The two main reasons teachers are leaving are that they aren’t paid enough, and that teaching in the US is too demanding. The article cites some strategies for how to fix this nationwide shortage and retention issue.


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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Shortage of Special Educators Adds to Classroom Pressures
Resource type:
Article
Shortage of Special Educators Adds to Classroom Pressures
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

An analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center shows that while the number of special education teachers was dropping, the number of students with disabilities ages 6 to 21 declined by only about 1 percent over the same time period. And as a whole, the number of teachers in all fields has gone up slightly over the past decade, as has overall enrollment.


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership , Competitive Compensation
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