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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Factors That Predict Teachers Staying in, Leaving, or Transferring from the Special Education Classroom
Resource type:
Research
Factors That Predict Teachers Staying in, Leaving, or Transferring from the Special Education Classroom
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

In this study, the authors randomly surveyed 1,576 Florida special education teachers to examine factors that contribute to their propensity to leave or stay in the special education classroom or transfer to a new school. The variables identified, based on extensive review of the literature, included background, classroom, school district, and personal factors. 


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
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The Role of School-Based Colleagues in Shaping the Commitment of Novice Special and General Education Teachers
Resource type:
Research
The Role of School-Based Colleagues in Shaping the Commitment of Novice Special and General Education Teachers
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

This paper explores how colleague relationships are critical for the experiences of beginning teachers, as are the school organizational norms that these beginning teachers experience. For special education teachers in particular, perception of colleague support was a strong predictor of retention plans. Similar results were seen with respect to their perception of the level of collective responsibility among the faculty. Taken together, these results suggest that schools and districts should make efforts to facilitate productive relationships between general and special education faculty, as well as to differentiate induction support for beginning special educators.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
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Working Conditions as Risk or Resiliency Factors for Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
Resource type:
Research
Working Conditions as Risk or Resiliency Factors for Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

This pilot study examined working conditions reported by special education teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) to identify factors common to teachers likely to leave their positions within the next 2 years and factors common to those likely to stay.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
Print
Long Story Short: How Can We Alleviate the Shortage of Special Education Teachers?
Resource type:
Video
Long Story Short: How Can We Alleviate the Shortage of Special Education Teachers?
Resource type:
Video
Resource description

Teacher shortages is a severe problem in special education. In this video interview, Lynn Holdheide, AIR principal technical assistance consultant, discusses her work with the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform Center (CEEDAR) to address the shortage and support students with disabilities.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
Go To Page
Critical Shortages in Special Education Teachers. Sound Familiar?
Resource type:
Blog
Critical Shortages in Special Education Teachers. Sound Familiar?
Resource type:
Blog
Resource description

This blog addresses the reasons special education teacher leave the workforce and provides some strategies for creating school environments where special educators and their students can thrive.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers , Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
Go To Page
The Role of Principals in Addressing Teacher Shortages
Feb 27, 2017
Resource type:
Brief, Research
The Role of Principals in Addressing Teacher Shortages
Feb 27, 2017
Resource type:
Brief, Research
Resource description

This brief summarizes research on the important role that principals can play in reducing the steady churn of teachers and highlights actions states and districts can take to strengthen school leadership.


Related policy solutions
Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
Print
Investing in Effective School Leadership: How States Are Taking Advantage of Opportunities Under ESSA
Jun 13, 2017
Resource type:
Brief, Research
Author:
Danny Espinoza, Jessica Cardichon
Investing in Effective School Leadership: How States Are Taking Advantage of Opportunities Under ESSA
Jun 13, 2017
Resource type:
Brief, Research
Author:
Danny Espinoza, Jessica Cardichon
Resource description

This brief summarizes the evidence about the importance of principals, describes research-based practices in leadership development, and outlines promising, evidence-based investments in state plans submitted under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Related policy solutions
Teaching Conditions & Supportive Leadership
Print
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