Staff retention in public schools across the United States remains a considerable challenge for school districts, with about eight percent of teachers leaving the profession every year. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated staff turnover and staffing shortages, including classroom teachers, administrators, and substitutes. In the 2022 Hanover Research Member Survey, approximately 54% of respondents indicated that teacher recruitment and retention was the top challenge facing their districts. Teacher shortages also further educational inequities, where students of color and students from low-income families feel the most significant impact from teacher shortages.
As teacher shortages continue to challenge K-12 district and school leaders across the country, districts must implement strategies to reduce teacher attrition. In this document, Hanover discusses current trends in the teacher labor market, offers strategies for improving teacher recruitment, and presents a framework for understanding the main factors that contribute to teacher turnover and effective strategies to support teacher retention.