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Gwinnett County Schools grapple with teacher turnover

(GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga.) — Gwinnett County School District, the largest in the state, is reporting that a 13.25% of their teachers either moved schools or districts between 2019 and 2022. As compared to 8.9% in Georgia and 10.9% nationally, this leaves some asking why.

Deep into a national shortage of teaching staff, Gwinnett County began the year fully staffed. Turnover has been rough, though, and administrators are looking towards finding a solution.

Several thoughts came from Alma Advisory Group, a talent management consultant. Chief executive Monica Rosen made recommendations to chief human resources officer Cathy Hardin as part of a long-term recruiting and retention improvement program.

“Your recruitment challenges are by and large exacerbated by a retention challenge,” Rosen said. “Addressing retention in your schools will significantly reduce pressure on filling vacancies year over year.”

In particular, new hires suffer more than experienced instructors. Exit surveys showed that turnover number was closer to 20% after one year, and 40% after three.

As reported by the AJC, board members asked questions about diversifying their staff. Rosen acknowledged the strides that Gwinnett County schools have made, but says that there’s still work left to be done.

Some 23.6% of Gwinnett teachers are Black, for example, a 10% discrepancy from the 1/3 of Black Gwinnett students. These kinds of measures can improve retention.

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