With measures to attract, retain teachers approved, some see other problematic policies

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2022 | General Education Law

A major challenge in Florida and other states is how to retain talented and qualified teachers. This is difficult because of the low pay and tough working environment, especially for schools that are already low-performing.

Teacher Retention

Teachers face plenty of barriers to working. For example, they are generally required to pay out of pocket for certification and other state-required licensing steps. Doing this means some teachers can’t afford to certify and move on to other fields. Some districts are experimenting with lowering these costs for specific cases, such as cutting costs for retired teachers who want to come back and do some substitute work. Others are trying to reduce the number of steps or otherwise change the process so that it is easier for teachers who have just graduated from school to get a job faster.

However, new policies can also backfire and cause teachers to be more likely to leave. The two types of policy that can make teacher retention worse are those related to pandemic restrictions and those affecting the curriculum. Both of these can vary a lot from state to state and from district to district. A teacher that falls afoul of one of these policies might wind up in a teacher license defense case. This can be the only way to retain a license after coming in violation of a rule about teaching or licensing.

It is becoming harder than ever to keep teachers in the school districts that need them, and policies that affect teaching can both help and hinder the process of maintaining a qualified roster of teachers for a district.