More than half of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years in Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
In Missouri, 61.8% of new teachers leave the profession within the first five years.
"That is a very clear indication that there is some intervention that is needed," said Mallory McGowin, spokeswoman for the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The problems is coming into stark relief this time of year as the academic year ends and school districts look toward next year's staffing.
Columbia Public Schools has over 50 open teaching jobs and Jefferson City Schools has over 30.
"Over the course of the last two years, a lot of our members have experienced issues with classroom management, but they've also experienced more issues with other factors that are affecting their ability to do what they've always wanted to do. What their passion is and that's teach," said Missouri State Teachers Association spokesperson, Todd Fuller.
In 2021-22, the percentage of Missouri teachers with five or more years of teaching experience was 38.2%, according to a report by DESE.
The department reports 11.9% of teaching positions had to be filled in the 2021-2022 school year in school districts across the state. The national average is 8%, and the average for high-performing countries is around 4%.
"This is a national problem. There are some instances where it looks like things may be more challenging here in Missouri," McGowin said.
According to a study done by DESE, elementary education experiences the most severe staffing shortages in the state.
"Teachers need the opportunity to spend time in the classroom and to be working with the students rather than worrying about all the outside issues that may affect their ability to teach," said Fuller.
Check back for updates to this developing story.