Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hidden Cost to Education

Today's SFChronicle has a report about the high cost of replacing teachers every year.

About 500,000 teachers across the country flee their jobs every year -- a persistent churn and burn that costs public schools an estimated $7.3 billion annually, according to a national report released Wednesday.

"Schools are able to hire enough teachers, but they just can't keep them in the classroom," said Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, which conducted the study, released Wednesday.

The study looked at five districts from rural to urban, large and small, adding up the money each spent to find and hire new teachers.

In San Francisco, the district spends an estimated $12 million to recruit, hire and train new teachers each year to replace the 500 who leave, the report said. That annual exodus equals about 16 percent of the district's 3,187 teachers.

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Education Fund estimated the cost to address the annual teacher turnover in San Francisco schools exceeds $3 million each year, a figure derived from U.S. Department of Labor calculation methods.

But the authors of the report said such statistics underestimate all the costs associated with replacing teachers, including travel to job fairs, staff time to interview, paperwork, new hire training and other administrative tasks.

Past polls show a majority of teachers cite San Francisco's expensive housing as a major impediment to staying; school and city officials are looking to address that issue with mortgage assistance or other financial help for teachers.

If they can find a way to help with the housing, more would become teachers...

No comments: