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April04

One-third of teaching candidates leave state after graduation

One out of three teaching candidates who graduated from a South Dakota college or university in the past year took an out-of-state position according to a study completed by the South Dakota School Administrators (SASD).

 

The latest data revealed 260 of the more than 770 graduates who obtained an education related degree were placed in a position out-of-state and an additional 52 graduates chose not to enter the education field at all.

 

“This information is scary,” SASD Executive Director Rob Monson said. “We’re losing potential teachers to other states and we already know we don’t have enough candidates to replace retirees.”

 

SASD’s latest survey comes on the heels of a study done last fall that found the number of South Dakota teachers eligible for retirement exceeds the number of students enrolled in teacher education programs.

 

SASD began compiling data in 2014 on the teacher shortage facing South Dakota school districts.

 

In that time the studies have found one in five schools started the 2014-15 school year without a teacher in a classroom and half of the state’s 151 school districts cited salary, relocation – many to districts in other states – or a change in profession as reasons given by teachers who left the school.

 

The K-12 community will turn its attention to Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, which is charged with solving the teacher shortage, reviewing school funding and examining student achievement.

 

Initial member appointments were recently made to the Task Force and the group is expected to hold input meetings at locations across the state in April and May, after which additional Task Force members, including school board members, administrators, teachers and parents, will be appointed.

 

“We have a crisis in our schools,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “We need everyone to come together and commit to finding solutions for the shortage.”

 

“Our schools can’t afford for us to wait any longer.”

 

The input meetings have not been scheduled at this time. ASBSD will provide date, time and location of the meetings and plan to be an active participant.

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