Rural Teacher Retention

As part of REL Central, RMC Research is partnering state education agencies in four states (Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, and South Dakota) to develop a study of rural teacher retention and mobility. The study is designed to better understand the dynamic and geographic character of the teacher labor market in rural areas of the Central Region and aspects of teachers and their schools, districts, and communities that are associated with retention and mobility. Using administrative data maintained by states, the study will examine the following questions: (1) To what extent is teacher mobility in the state characterized by inflow (new graduates from teacher preparation programs and teachers from out of state), outflow (teachers who leave the state and those who leave teaching), upflow (teachers who move into leadership positions), and churn (teachers who move to parallel positions in the same or another school or district), and how long do teachers stay in the same position? (2) To what extent does teacher mobility and time in position vary by region and district? (3) To what extent are characteristics of teachers, schools, districts, and communities associated with mobility and retention? (4) To what extent do characteristics associated with mobility and retention vary by region and district? Reports of findings are expected to be released in early 2018.