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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retention

Available Resources


Preparing and Retaining Effective Special Education Teachers: Short-Term Strategies for Long-Term Solutions
Resource type:
Brief
Preparing and Retaining Effective Special Education Teachers: Short-Term Strategies for Long-Term Solutions
Resource type:
Brief
Resource description

Many states struggle with shortages of special education teachers (SET). To address the shortage problem in the long term, policymakers, preparation providers, and state and district administrators must ensure that any short-term strategies are combined with a comprehensive plan that includes long-term systemic strategies to strengthen the supply, preparation, and retention of special education 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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Texas expects thousands more special education students. But where are the teachers?
Resource type:
Article
Texas expects thousands more special education students. But where are the teachers?
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

Thousands of additional children will soon be eligible for special education services after state officials eliminated an illegal cap that artificially tamped down Texas special education rolls for a decade. But even if the state fully funds the estimated $3 billion cost of providing that extra instruction, educators say one big question remains: Where will schools find up to 9,000 new special education 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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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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‘Indiana’s war on teachers is winning’: Here’s what superintendents say is causing teacher shortages
Resource type:
Article
‘Indiana’s war on teachers is winning’: Here’s what superintendents say is causing teacher shortages
Resource type:
Article
Resource description

Out of the 220 districts that responded to the survey, 91 percent reported experiencing a teacher shortage, with most feeling the pinch in science, math, and special education. Eighty-five percent of the surveyed districts applied for emergency permits for people who don’t have teaching licenses, or educators who are hired to teach subjects outside their licensure.


Related policy solutions
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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