Texas schools struggling to retain first-year teachers
JEFFERSON, Texas (KSLA) - A recent Texas Teacher Workforce report shows first-year teachers aren’t staying on the job for very long.
Factors like COVID-19 and pay are a couple reasons people are leaving the field.
Lynn Phillips, director of curriculum and instruction at Jefferson ISD, said they are working to find qualified substitutes to help fill their vacancies.
”I just think the biggest thing for us is not necessarily teachers leaving; but when we have a few leave, our applicant pool is very slim. We had positions in the past where we’ve had zero applicants before.”
Back in 2011, the average base pay for teachers was $55,433 a year. In 2019, it actually took a dip to $54,192.
”I don’t know if we have as many people with a passion for it,” Phillips said. “I think some has to do with pay. There are different things happening across the state with that.”
Over at Hallsville ISD, Lindsey Slaten said recruitment is their issue. ”We’re seeing trends over the last few years of applicant trends decreasing. Less college students are getting their degrees in education probably more than ever before.”
A training session for substitute teachers was held Tuesday, Jan. 25 in an effort to recruit more applicants.
”The last few times we’ve had sub training, it’s been a packed house. The last one we had was so full, we were having to move chairs in. We’ve had really good success,” Phillips recalled.
“Of course, if they come on to our training doesn’t mean they’re going to get in. There are pieces to process.”
Although they have a good applicant pool for substitutes, Phillips said, many decline to come in as COVID-19 numbers rise.
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