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Education News

Teacher Retention Top Concern For State Union President

A national report indicates low salaries and a lack of support are among the reasons why teachers leave the profession.

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After summer’s over and school starts again, there’s a good chance that your child’s instructor won’t be back in the classroom.

Every year, roughly half a million U.S teachers leave their school or quit the profession, according to one advocacy group.

That turnover is also a concern here in Texas. About one third of the state’s public school teachers have five years or less experience in the classroom, according to data from the Texas Education Agency. That’s over 100,000 teachers.

“If you look at the breakdown, you know, it’s alarming,” said Noel Candelaria, president of the Texas State Teachers Association.

What alarms him even more is that it takes longer for teachers to hit their stride.

That’s why teacher retention is one of Candelaria’s top priorities.

“We need to figure out a way to keep teachers in our classrooms longer and make this truly a lifelong profession and not just kind of a temporary thing that people are coming in and testing out to see if it works for them,” he said.

Candelaria said that teachers need training before they enter the classroom and then they need to keep up that training so they can grow as professionals.

A 2014 national report from the Alliance for Excellent Education points to several reasons why teachers leave. Those include low salaries and a lack of support.

And when teachers leave it costs schools that have to recruit, hire and train their replacement.

The bill adds up to $2.2 billion a year, according to the 2014 report.

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