About one in five Missouri school districts will start the school year with new superintendents. And, there’s a reason behind the high turnover rate. The Missouri School Boards Association says more than 100 of the state’s 524 school districts will have new superintendents this fall. More than half of those superintendents are rookies. The head of the Association’s superintendent search program, Jeff Tindle, says most school districts have fewer than one-thousand students, and one-fourth of the districts have fewer than 500. He says the turnover problem is especially acute with those smaller districts. He says a lot of superintendents retire in their mid-50s, leaving as soon as they qualify for a state retirement program that Tindle says encourages people to lave early. He says the superintendent is under a lot of pressure, trying to meet federal No Child Left Behind standards, trying to meet state accreditation standards, while also dealing with pressures from school boards, parents, teachers, and community leaders. So, many leave when they can – leaving their districts often to hire somebody who has no distict management experience.
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