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Pace of teacher exodus in Milwaukee area outpaces state

Apr 25, 2016 by

Public school teachers in the Milwaukee area are leaving the profession at a higher rate than the state as a whole, and Wisconsin’s teacher preparation programs are not enrolling enough candidates to fill their shoes in the classroom, according to a new report released Monday by the nonprofit Public Policy Forum.

“Help Wanted: An Analysis of the Teacher Pipeline in Metro Milwaukee” is the last in a three-part series by the forum that has looked at local workforce trends for teachers and principals.

According to the report, 700 teachers, or nearly 5%, left the profession in the four-county Milwaukee area between 2009 and 2014, nearly half of the 1,478 statewide total, while the student population held relatively steady.

At the same time, it says, enrollments in Wisconsin’s teacher education programs fell nearly 28%, from 12,323 students in 2008-’09 to 8,887 in 2013-’14, the most recent year available. The number of graduates from those programs fell 6.6%.

“The data show that Milwaukee-area districts and districts throughout the state are having trouble retaining current teachers,” said Joe Yeado, senior researcher for the forum and author of the report. “What it says to me is that, moving forward, each teacher vacancy will become harder to fill because the supply of new teachers is shrinking.”

Yeado stressed that it is not a Milwaukee, or Wisconsin, problem. Similar trends are being seen in neighboring states and across the country.

“That suggests that as neighboring states try to fill their teacher vacancies, it’s not beyond the possibility that they would begin to take Wisconsin graduates…which further constricts our supply,” he said.

Source: Pace of teacher exodus in Milwaukee area outpaces state, report says

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