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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Available Resources


The Impact of Incentives to Recruit and Retain Teachers in “Hard-to-Staff” Subjects: An Analysis of the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Program
Resource type:
Research
The Impact of Incentives to Recruit and Retain Teachers in “Hard-to-Staff” Subjects: An Analysis of the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Program
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

This paper investigates the effects of the Florida Critical Teacher Shortage Program (FCTSP), a statewide program designed to increase the supply of teachers in “hard-to-staff” areas. FCTSP had three elements: (a) it provided loan forgiveness to teachers who were certified and taught in designated shortage areas; (b) it compensated teachers for the tuition cost of taking courses to become certified in a designated shortage area; and (c) for a single year, it gave bonuses to high school teachers who were certified and taught in a designated subject area. 


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Competitive Compensation
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What Makes Special-Education Teachers Special? Teacher Training and Achievement of Students with Disabilities
Resource type:
Research
What Makes Special-Education Teachers Special? Teacher Training and Achievement of Students with Disabilities
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

This paper examines the impact of pre‐service preparation and in‐service formal and informal training on the ability of teachers to promote academic achievement among students with disabilities. It finds that pre‐service preparation in special education has statistically significant and quantitatively substantial effects on the ability of teachers of special education courses to promote gains in achievement for students with disabilities, especially in reading.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers
Print
A Review of Teacher Induction in Special Education: Research, Practice, and Technology Solutions
Resource type:
Research
A Review of Teacher Induction in Special Education: Research, Practice, and Technology Solutions
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

This paper provides a comprehensive review of what is known about teacher induction in special education and outlines recommendations for the design of induction programs and further research.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers
Print
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
Calling All Teachers: Flexing Your Advocacy Muscles to Address Teacher Shortages
Resource type:
Op-Ed
Calling All Teachers: Flexing Your Advocacy Muscles to Address Teacher Shortages
Resource type:
Op-Ed
Resource description

This op-ed explores why policy makers need to hear from teachers about how teacher shortages in schools and the quick fix remedies provided are affecting them, their students, and their school.

Reprinted with permission from https://mslbd.org/what-we-do/rethinking-behavior.html


Related policy solutions
Service Scholarships & Student Loan Forgiveness , Competitive Compensation
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Quality Alternative Certification Programs in Special Education Ensure High Retention
Resource type:
Research
Quality Alternative Certification Programs in Special Education Ensure High Retention
Resource type:
Research
Resource description

Alternative certification is a viable means of recruiting, training, and certifying those who have a bachelor’s degree and a strong desire to enter the field of teaching. This cross-sectional study surveyed 124 California State University Alternative Route (Intern) program participants. Ten critical features located in three seminal studies framed the research conducted and provided quality features to enhance retention of teachers.


Related policy solutions
Effective Training & Support for New Teachers
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
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