Putting Education Reform To The Test

Florida School Districts Hope More Pay Will Mean Less Turnover

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Florida school districts are trying new ideas to reduce turnover at low-performing schools.

Two stories today look at how school districts are trying to entice staff to take hard-to-fill jobs.

Lee County and Miami-Dade schools are considering the obvious solution: More money.

In Lee, the school district has tapped a federal grant to pay teachers earning good reviews more money to work in schools with high turnover rates, according to the Ft. Myers News-Press. Low-performing schools and those that require longer commutes typically have the highest turnover rates, school officials said.

The district has $17 million to use over two years to try to bolster the retention numbers at those schools.

Be sure to check out the great graph the News-Press produced with school district data on the highest turnover rates at district elementary, middle and high schools.

In Miami, The Herald reports the focus is on principals.

Instead of assigning pay to a principal, the district would assign pay to a school posting. The plan would be phased in as principals move to new schools.

The plan was developed by a committee of school administrators, district representatives and others.

As we’ve reported, Hillsborough County schools hope mentors will help keep more new teachers in the classroom.

As part of a $100 million Gates Foundation grant the district pulled veteran teachers from the classroom to help young teachers adapt to the job challenges. Two years ago 28 percent of Hillsborough schools’ new teachers left after the first year. This year just 5 percent of teachers left after their first year.

Studies have found as many as half of all new teachers leave the field within five years.


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