More evidence shows teachers are increasingly exiting the classroom

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Dive Brief:

  • About one-third of 1,800 surveyed teachers said they had planned to leave their position before the 2022-23 school year, according to a McKinsey report released Thursday. 
  • Teacher attrition is also poised to surpass pre-pandemic monthly averages if it continues at current rates, McKinsey reported in its analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Quitting has become a bigger factor in attrition rates, rising 8 percentage points since 2019 to account for 64% of teachers leaving their school or district in 2022, McKinsey found.
  • A looming teacher exodus was further evidenced in a recent Chalkbeat analysis of eight states, co-published with USA Today, that found increased teacher turnover between the end of the 2021-22 school year and the beginning of 2022-23.

Dive Insight:

As the teacher shortage continues to show signs of worsening, statewide initiatives are ramping up to tackle the issue.

On Friday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a proposal to fund the state’s Teacher Pipeline Grant Program at $70 million annually over the next three years to the 170 school districts with the highest need to fill teaching roles. Those 170 districts have 80% of all unfilled teaching positions in the state.

Illinois districts could use the funds to offer signing bonuses, housing stipends, down payment assistance or loan repayments to teachers. District leaders could also use the money to pay tuition and fees for teacher residencies or apprenticeship programs, or to provide current teachers with necessary supplies, coaching and school culture supports. 

In another initiative to boost teacher recruiting and retention efforts, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed a $2,500 refundable tax credit for three years to anyone who earns a new education license or certification and moves to the state for work. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, meanwhile, has proposed $20 million in new investments for the state’s education workforce. This funding would go toward supporting prospective teachers as they work and study, and would waive certification fees to attract more qualified and diverse teachers in the profession. There would also be financial support for a teacher apprenticeship program and continued support for programs that look to improve diversity among teachers. 

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