States Working to Keep Good Teachers in the Classroom

Having a career in teaching can be a desirable thing: Educators shape young minds and help students prepare to become responsible citizens and positive contributors to society. So why are schools around the United States having such a difficult time retaining teachers?

According to Education News, more than half of new teachers leave the education profession within the first five years. It's unlikely that this phenomenon is completely the result of less-than-desirable salaries.

Lynn Stockley, president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association, argued in an editorial in Tulsa World that there are other issues at play. As states cut education funding, teachers are being asked to meet the same academic standards with higher teacher-to-student ratios and fewer resources, she said.

The trend is concerning to education advocates, and some states are getting creative to try to get good teachers into the classroom and convince them to stay.

In Iowa, Gov. Terry Branstad is proposing to reimburse the tuition of the most successful teaching graduates if they agree to teach in the state for at least five years after graduation, Education Week reported.

Others have proposed introducing financial incentives for teachers, offering bonuses to attract them to schools that are difficult to staff. According to The Center for Public Education, this practice is still experimental, and it's unclear whether financial rewards convenience well-qualified teachers to stay in their profession.

As states continue to contemplate ways to keep educators in schools over the long term, one things remains clear: Good teachers will always be in demand.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit our website at www.wgu.edu.

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