Friday, October 21, 2016

Study: Many rural Calif. counties will need to replace 1/3 or more retiring teachers by 2023-24

Percent of teachers expected to retire by 2023-24, by county
California could be facing a teacher crisis, especially in rural areas, says a study that WestEd, a San Francisco-based non-profit research organization, conducted for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), an evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. The study found that one-quarter of teachers who worked the 2013-14 school year are expected to retire by 2023-24, with numbers much higher in rural areas.

In northeastern Sierra County, the state's second least populated county, 60.5 percent of teachers are expected to retire by 2023-24. On average, "counties in the rural NorthCoast, Northeastern and East Inland regions are expected to need to replace 36 percent (more than 1,900 teachers) of their 2013-14 teacher workforce over 2014-15 to 2023-24, compared with an average of 27 percent across other regions." In many of the state's largest metro areas 19-23 percent of teachers are expected to retire by 2023-24.

"The study didn’t address other teacher workforce issues contributing to teacher shortages in some districts and teaching areas: a decline in college graduates going into teaching and attrition by younger teachers who change professions or move to lower-cost-of-living states," John Fensterwald reports for EdSource, a California non-profit that reports on education.

"'For the past decade, some education authorities had assumed there would be a tsunami of baby boomer teachers retiring, but retirement rates have proved to be more gradual,' said Fong, the chief researcher," Fensterwald writes. "WestEd last did a teacher retirement forecast a decade ago and estimated roughly the same percentage of retirements from 2006 to 2013-14 as it projected for the following decade. And the average retirement age—61—has remained constant. Teachers can retire with their full California State Teachers Retirement System pension at age 62 with 30 years of teaching."

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