Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Teachers Are Choosing to Stay in Idaho

Based on a public records request, the State Department of Education pulled statistics this week on the number of certified teachers in Idaho, including how many have come from out of state, how many are joining the teaching profession, and how many are choosing to leave the teaching profession for the past four years.

Here are some of the highlights:
  • Currently, 18,684 individuals are currently certified to teach in Idaho. This is down from 3.7 percent from the 2007-2008 school year when 19,367 individuals were certified.
  • But Idaho teachers are not leaving the state to teach elsewhere, as some have surmised. In fact, the number of teachers leaving Idaho to teach in another school or district has declined significantly in recent years. In 2008-2009, 215 teachers left the state to teach at another educational institution. In the 2010-2011 school year, just 48 teachers left the state to teach elsewhere.
  • More teachers are choosing to stay in the district in which they currently work as well. In 2007-2008, 510 teachers moved to teach in a new Idaho school district. In 2010-2011, just 82 teachers moved to a new school district in the state of Idaho.
  • We have not seen mass layoffs in Idaho school districts, as some predicted. In 2009-2010, districts reported 83 teachers left the profession due to a reduction in force. Eighty-five teachers reported this in 2010-2011.
  • We continue to see teachers choose to leave the teaching profession for personal reasons. “Personal reasons” can mean a variety of things, from seeking a new profession to moving out of state with a spouse to deciding to stay at home with children for a few years. In any case, in 2007-2008, 342 teachers reported leaving the profession for personal reasons. In 2010-2011, 697 reported leaving the profession for personal reasons.
We recognize this turnover rate seems high. It is likely a result of the economy; however, we must continue to improve the school system by implementing pay-for-performance for teachers, offering additional professional development and increasing technology tools for teachers and students in the classroom. We want to keep our great teachers in the classroom and attract more of the best and the brightest to teach in Idaho schools.

Based on the above numbers, it is clear that more teachers are actually choosing to stay in Idaho and not leave the state of Idaho. This is positive news, and we will continue our work in this direction.

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