Monday, February 23, 2015

Rural Vermont schools struggling to retain staff; region has high percentage of first-year teachers

Remote rural Vermont schools with high poverty rates are forced to employ less experienced teachers, says a report by the U.S. Department of Education, Amy Ash Nixon reports for VTDigger, an independent investigative news organization covering the state. The state's poor rural schools have more first-year teachers than any other part of the state, though the high minority schools have a lower rate of first-year teachers than the national trend.

Remote, isolated towns “are having a hard time holding onto their educators, teachers, principals and superintendents,” said Amy Fowler, deputy secretary of the Vermont Agency of Education, Nixon writes. Fowler said geographic isolation plays a larger part than poverty in the inability to retain teachers.

In response to the report, the Vermont Agency of Education is holding meetings around the state in March and April to address why some poor, remote communities do not have the same access to high quality teachers as schools in wealthier communities, reports The Associated Press.

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