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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Two-thirds of Florida's new teachers stick around, Department of Education reports



Much has been said lately of Florida's teacher shortage. Lawmakers and other leaders have spent much time and energy seeking ways to recruit, just as important, retain top educators to the state's schools.

As part of her endeavor to find a solution, education commissioner Pam Stewart toured the state, interviewing instructors for their thoughts on incentives and other programs to replace the much maligned Best and Brightest bonus.

Her work also included a closer look at the more than 7,000 new teachers who began their jobs in Florida in 2011-12. The goal was to determine just how bad the turnover rate might be five years later. What she found might surprise.

"We found that of the 7,000+ teachers who started in Florida during the 2011-12 school year, over two-thirds were still teaching or working in a Florida public school," the Department of Education reported recently to superintendents.

Of those 7,121 educators, 57 percent still had jobs in the same school district in 2015-16, and 33 percent still worked at the same school.

Tampa Bay area school districts largely mirrored the trend, with 66 percent of Pinellas teachers, 68 percent of Hillsborough teachers and 66 percent of Hernando teachers remaining in education jobs with their districts after five years. Pasco surpassed the state level, with 79 percent of new teachers hired in 2011-12 still working there in 2015-16.

Those remaining in their districts broke down as 47 percent in Hernando, 60 percent in Hillsborough, 69 percent in Pasco and 59 percent in Pinellas.

See the full state breakdown for more details.

The department has encouraged district leaders to "explore your data further to determine to what extent teachers are being retained in the schools where they start their career."

This post has been updated.

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 8, 2017 11:30am]


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