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The Teacher Dropout Crisis

Friday, July 18, 2014

Worried about your teenager dropping out of school? You might also want to worry about his teacher.

"Roughly half a million U.S. teachers either move or leave the profession each year," reads a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocacy group. And this kind of turnover comes at a steep cost, not only to students but to districts: up to $2.2 billion a year.

There were more than 3 million full-time teachers in 2013, according to the Department of Education, meaning nearly 15 percent of the workforce is moving or leaving every year. And, the study says, at-risk students suffer the most.

Nearly 20 percent of teachers at high-poverty schools leave every year, a rate 50 percent higher than at more affluent schools. That's one of every five teachers, gone by next September.

As for that $2.2 billion price tag, it's money largely spent on human resources, says Jason Amos, Vice President of Communications for the Alliance. That includes recruiting and processing new hires, along with money spent on induction, training and development.

The report points to a variety of reasons for the turnover, including low salaries and a lack of support for many teachers. Which helps to explain why those most likely to quit are also the least experienced: 40 to 50 percent of new teachers leave within their first five years on the job.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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