The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) has released its 2020-21 South Carolina (SC) Annual Educator Supply and Demand Report. Approximately 6,000 teachers from 2019-20 did not return to teach in the same district for the 2020-21 school year. This is a 10% decrease compared to the number of departures reported last year. In the report, “teachers” include classroom-based certified educators as well as other certified educators who provide instructional/support services outside the classroom.
Although the number of departures decreased overall, early-career resignations were more prevalent this year with 42% who had five or fewer years of SC teaching experience and 16% with one year or less. The percentages reported last year were 36% and 13%, respectively. Of the first-year teachers hired for the 2019-20 school year, 36% did not return to a teaching/service position in the same district in 2020-21. This percentage is up from 28% last year.
Districts reported an increase of more than 140 vacant teaching/service positions for 2020-21 compared to last year. As of October/November this year, there were about 700 vacancies in SC public schools. With the growing impact of the pandemic, it was anticipated that districts would have more difficulty filling positions this year.
Results from this year’s Supply and Demand Survey may not fully reflect the effects of COVID-19 on schools and districts. Many teachers may have already signed their contracts for 2020-21 when the impact of the pandemic began to be felt, potentially deterring them from resigning. Additionally, districts may have experienced more teacher departures after surveys were submitted. CERRA plans to survey district personnel directors in early 2021 to further assess how the pandemic is affecting their teacher recruitment and retention efforts.
The SC Annual Educator Supply and Demand Report can be accessed on the CERRA website at https://www.cerra.org/supply-and-demand.html.