Press Release Details
SFUSD Monitoring Teacher Attrition
San Francisco (April 25, 2022) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is monitoring teacher staffing trends. As of mid-April, turnover rates remain consistent with the previous year and lower than pre-pandemic.
The SFUSD rate mirrors national trends showing that turnover rates in education are fairly comparable to those from 2018, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the past 10 years, both during and prior to the pandemic, SFUSD’s teacher attrition rate has held steady at 9-10% each year. This number includes resignations, retirements and terminations.
Current teacher separation numbers reflect a trend consistent with previous years though it's too soon to tell how many separations will occur between mid-April and the beginning of the next school year. Between January 2022 and mid-April 2022, 124 teachers notified SFUSD of their intent to retire or resign. During the same period of time in 2021, there were also 124 teachers. Teacher separations during that same period of time have decreased from two years prior (2020) when there were 217 teachers who indicated their intent to separate.
“SFUSD has numerous efforts in place to support and retain educators including paid professional development, one-on-one coaching, cash bonuses, and more. We are working to retain and recruit a strong professional workforce prepared to serve our children,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews.
Per the most recent agreement between SFUSD and United Educators of San Francisco (UESF), teachers and paraeducators will receive two one-time bonuses of $2,000; one in June of 2022 and one in November of 2022. In addition, daily rates for substitute teachers and paraeducators have increased to promote higher rates of classroom coverage.
Between 2014 and 2019, SFUSD increased base teacher salaries over 25% without decreasing benefits yet the cost of living in the Bay Area remains a challenge for recruiting and retaining staff. SFUSD and the City and County of San Francisco are developing affordable housing for educators.
“We know from our research in SFUSD and in other high cost of living cities that teachers have a lot of financial concerns weighing on them, particularly around housing. In a study involving Brown University, Stanford University and UC Irvine, we found high degrees of economic anxiety, particularly among newer teachers, in SFUSD. These findings came from pre-pandemic data, but the challenges most likely have not subsided,” said Dr. Susanna Loeb, Professor of Education and Director, Annenberg Institute at Brown University.
SFUSD, like other districts, has teacher shortages in hard-to-fill subject areas. In response the district has created multiple options for those interested in becoming an educator to participate in high quality teacher preparation programs, such as the Pathway to Teaching program to develop diverse cohorts of teachers likely to remain teaching in SFUSD. These programs are making a big difference but SFUSD is experiencing a $125 million budget deficit and will have to close some positions. This means that in certain subject and credential areas, SFUSD will likely end up with more teachers than it has positions for resulting in SFUSD having both a teacher shortage and issuing layoffs at the same time.
“We know that the key to student success in any classroom is a consistent, highly-skilled and -qualified teacher,” SFUSD Human Resources Chief Kristin Bijur said. “We are doing active recruitment, both within SFUSD and outside of SFUSD, so that we are prepared to start 2022-23 fully staffed.”