A State Education Department report headed to the General Assembly takes a look at the recruitment and retention of teachers in Missouri public schools. And, it finds that while new people are being attracted to the teaching profession, there is concern about holding onto them once they become teachers. Rosalyn Wieberg, the Department’s Assistant Director of Educator Recruitment and Retention, says there are 68,120 teachers in Missouri public school systems – up more than 1,500 from the last school year’s total. But about a quarter of the new recruits leave the classroom within three years, and more than a third are gone within five years. She says there are several reasons for this, including a lack of administrative support, poor working conditions, and a lack of mentoring from older, experienced teachers. Wieberg says that while salaries are important, they usually have little to do with retention.
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