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Stay in School: An update on teacher workforce trends in Metro Milwaukee

Our latest research finds that teacher turnover in both metro Milwaukee and across the state has stabilized. A higher proportion of newer and younger teachers leaving the profession may signal the emergence of different challenges, however.

Key findings:

  • In the aggregate, annual teacher attrition in the region and state has returned to near pre-Act 10 levels. The number of teachers leaving metro Milwaukee’s workforce in 2015-16 declined by 16% when compared to two years earlier, while the number leaving the state teacher workforce fell by 7%. These departure levels are the lowest since the 2009-10 school year.
  • The number of teachers entering the region and state has largely kept pace recently with those who leave from year to year. In metro Milwaukee, the number of teachers entering the workforce over the latest two years exceeded the number who departed by 45 teachers.
  • Higher proportions of younger teachers are leaving the workforce in recent years, as opposed to older teachers retiring. The average age of a departing teacher in metro Milwaukee between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years (45.2) is 2.4 years younger than two years earlier, while the average age of departing teachers statewide (46.4) is 1.3 years younger.
  • Teachers who are departing not only are younger, but also increasingly are newer to the profession. Among teachers who leave their position, almost one in three from metro Milwaukee and one in four statewide do so before hitting the five-year mark, a measure that appears to be trending upward.

 

Media Coverage

"Post-Act 10 teacher workforce stabilizes, but exodus of younger teachers troubling, study says
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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

The new report updates an April 2016 Forum report--Help Wanted--that found metro Milwaukee had a shrinking supply of new teachers to replace a steady stream of existing teachers leaving the workforce.

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