Study: More than Half of New Utah Teachers Quit Within Seven Years

February 1, 2017

For Immediate Release

Contact:  Andrea Rorrer, Utah Education Policy Center director
801-531-4207 ∙

Study: More than Half of New Utah Teachers Quit Within Seven Years

SALT LAKE CITY – Fifty-six percent of Utah teachers who began in the teaching profession in 2007-08 were no longer classroom teachers in Utah by 2014-15, according to a study released today by the Utah Education Policy Center (UPEC) in collaboration with the Utah State Board of Education.

Of all Utah public school teachers who taught in 2013-14, 81 percent remained at the same school the following year, 7 percent moved to a different school, and 12 percent left teaching altogether. Yet, of all Utah teachers who started teaching in the school year 2007-08, 56 percent were no longer classroom teachers in Utah by 2014-15, the study found. The study shows teacher turnover rates and trends over the years, but does not reveal why teachers remain or leave the classroom.

“It is imperative that teacher retention be part of our solution to the educator supply and demand issue,” said Andrea Rorrer, UEPC director. She indicated that further study is necessary to understand current levels and quality of support provided to educators, particularly in the early years of their careers. A better understanding of the underlying reasons for teachers remaining in the same school, moving between schools, and leaving the profession will provide better information to address teacher retention, satisfaction, and possible shortage.

The Utah State Board of Education will continue to look at systems for better recruitment and retention of teachers through involvement in the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation, the work of the Board’s Licensing Task Force, and continued data collection and analysis.

“The Utah State Board of Education’s mission is to provide an opportunity for education excellence for each Utah student,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson.  “Recruiting and retaining quality teachers in the classroom is a fundamental part of that mission that supports educational equity and quality learning.”

The full data briefs and additional information can be found on the UEPC website:

Teacher Turnover in Utah 2013-14 and 2014-15

Beginning Teacher Turnover in Utah Between 2008-09 and 2014-15

Teacher Retention in Utah: Exploring 2011-12 SASS and 2012-13 TFS Survey Data

At A Glance: Teacher Turnover in Utah

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