A series examining the challenges facing Tennessee’s educator labor market and highlighting innovative practices to strengthen it.

Understanding The Educator Labor Market: A Look At Tennessee’s Data

Access to highly effective teachers is essential for student achievement. However, growing evidence suggests students have unreliable and inequitable access to effective educators, with many school districts reporting high levels of teacher vacancies. SCORE partnered with 15 school districts and the Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) to understand the broader trends behind educator labor market challenges. This report is the first in a series aimed at exploring those challenges so that school, district, and policy leaders can apply short- and long-term actions.

Key points:

  • Educator labor markets are highly local. Most districts hire more than 75 percent of their teachers from three or fewer educator preparation programs.
  • The 15 districts we looked at continue to lose one in five early-career teachers, with many citing the need for additional support.
  • Educators continue to express indecision about the profession, even as turnover rates recover slightly from pandemic.
  • Growth in administrators and support staff positions was likely fueled by ESSER funding to recover student learning.
  • Even as the state and districts invest in educator compensation, salary is not the primary reason teachers leave.

Watch the webinar: