The Teaching Profession
Contrary to Predictions, Rate of Teacher Retirements Looks to Decline in 2020
- By Dian Schaffhauser
of teacher retirements during 2020 found that the rate was down by
about five percent. Just one state under study — Alabama — showed an
increase in retirements, of 7.2 percent. The research was undertaken
a nonprofit focused on changing education for underserved children,
and published on 74
nonprofit pursued the topic to find out whether mid-year predictions
were true that up
to a third of teachers were "somewhat or very likely" to
leave their jobs this year,
compared to the average eight percent who do in a typical year.
research project sought data about retirements from teacher pension
plans. After reaching out to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it
received data from seven states, representing about 865,000 "active
workers." Not all of these were teachers; the data also covered
other education employees.
reason the rate of retirements didn't spike could have to do with the
fact that most teachers pushed for or opted into remote instruction
this school year. That meant they didn't have to expose themselves to
the risk of COVID-19 to the extent expected in the summer. "In
the early stages of the pandemic, it was widely perceived that
schools could serve as potential superspreader environments,"
the researchers wrote. "Starting the year in the relative safety
of virtual settings may have prompted near-retirement teachers to
remain in their Zoom classrooms."
Bellwether article and data summary are openly available on
the 74 million website.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.