Idaho's teacher shortage is still a big problem

Idaho's teacher shortage is still a big problem

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Across Idaho, 30 percent of teachers leave the profession by their fourth year.

Those figures, similar to national rates, are from an Idaho teacher pipeline workgroup report presented Thursday on the second day of the Idaho State Board of Education‘s meeting at the College of Southern Idaho.

The statewide teacher shortage has been a huge topic in recent years and it’s hitting rural communities the hardest — particularly, in the Magic Valley. The state is working to boost teacher pay to help better attract and keep teachers in classrooms, but is still struggling with losing teachers to other states and careers.

“Region 4 is really, really struggling in the teacher shortage,” said Christina Linder, educator effectiveness program manager for the Idaho State Board of Education. That’s in south-central Idaho.

Retaining teachers isn’t just a problem for schools. It costs $6 million to the state each year to replace teachers who leave “due to the leaky pipeline,” Linder said.

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