Thirty-five percent of the teachers who did not return to the same position in 2018-19 had five or fewer years of experience in a SC public school classroom. This percentage is slightly lower than the one reported last year (38%), most likely due to an increase in the number of retiring teachers with more than five years of experience. Furthermore, 13% who left had no more than one year of teaching experience in the state; 12% fell into this category last year.
Retired teachers represented 26% of all departures compared to 20% last year. Because of this increase and the fact that retirees have more years of classroom experience than non-retired teachers, they were taken out of consideration to establish more accurate departure rates. After excluding retirees, the rates increased: 48% of teachers who left their positions had five or fewer years of experience in a SC public school classroom, and 17% had no more than one year.
When first-year teachers were examined independently, it was determined that 34% of the first-year teachers hired for 2017-18 did not return to the same position in 2018-19; 25% are no longer teaching in any SC public school. These percentages are higher than those from last year, which were 30% and 22%, respectively.
The number of new hires who graduated from an in-state teacher preparation program increased for the first time since 2013-14, accounting for 24% of all new hires. The actual number of SC students completing a teacher education program, however, continues to decrease each year. Specifically, the number of completions has dropped by 32% since the 2012-13 academic year. As a result of a smaller teacher pipeline, districts are relying on other recruitment sources. For example, districts are hiring more teachers from other countries. This year, they hired nearly 400 international teachers; in 2013, roughly 100 were hired.
Additionally, districts reported 621 vacant teaching positions in SC public school classrooms. This number represents a 13% increase compared to vacancies reported at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year. In addition to these vacancies are the 7,600 openings that were caused primarily by departures and filled with newly hired teachers prior to the start of the 2018-19 school year.
The SC Annual Educator Supply and Demand Report can be accessed on the CERRA website at https://www.cerra.org/supply-and-demand.html.