Why Is High Teacher Retention Important To The Learning Process?

With retention at a significantly higher rate than the state average, FUSD has made a lot of improvements to keep teachers on-board to improve the districts retention rate. As teacher retention has a huge impact on student achievement, keeping turnover low is vital to providing a good and consistent education process to students.

But, it doesn’t just improve students learning, it also minimizes the financial strain from school districts. A 2017 Louisiana State University Shreveport article states “Recruiting, hiring, orienting and providing initial professional development sap already-tight school budgets, especially in low-income neighborhoods. According to the Washington Post, replacing teachers carries “a national price tag of more than $7 billion a year.”

Additionally, the article states “New teachers in high-turnover schools have to learn the curriculum, become familiar with policies and get to know classrooms full of students without the benefit of veterans’ guidance.”

Annual teacher turnover rates range from 8% in Utah to 24% in Arizona.

With FUSD coming in at 89% retention shows significant improvement. With higher retention comes a higher quality of education. Research on teacher retention has shown that students in grade levels with higher turnover score lower in both English language arts (ELA) and math.

But, even with a low turnover, schools are having a hard time filling positions. As KTAR reported earlier this year “Nearly one-quarter of teacher vacancies in Arizona remain unfilled, according to a recent survey.” KTAR estimate’s that 1600-1700 teacher positions remain vacant throughout the 211 school districts and charter schools.

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