Teacher Ranks Have Rebounded
Post-Act 10 decline has been arrested. But more younger teachers leaving profession.
The number of Wisconsin teachers leaving the profession increased significantly after the Act 10 collective bargaining changes were enacted in 2011. Since then, departures statewide have declined and, in recent years, teacher ranks have begun to rise again, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF).
The analysis, “Wisconsin’s Teacher Workforce: Trends in Supply and Turnover,” shows that in the year after Act 10, 6,507 teachers left the workforce, compared to 4,173 the previous year. In recent years, departures have levelled off to 5,142 in 2015 and 4,604 in 2016. In fact, the number leaving in 2016 was the lowest since the year preceding the adoption of Act 10.
Since 2012, the number of Wisconsin teachers entering the workforce has outpaced those departing, the
WPF researchers noted.
Although the number of teachers overall has increased in recent years, WPF noted the share of younger
teachers leaving the profession may be rising. In addition, among teachers who left the profession in 2015 and 2016, more than 40% had less than 10 years of experience, compared to 36% in 2013 and 2014.
Without survey data, it is difficult to determine why these younger teachers are leaving. The analysis suggests it could be due to a strengthening economy and competition from other higher-paying jobs. But WPF warns the long-term consequences of these departures could be additional staff training and costs, as well as difficulty in maintaining a stable teacher corps.
The WPF analysis, “Wisconsin’s Teacher Workforce: Trends in Supply and Turnover,” is available now
by visiting www.wistax.org; emailing email@example.com; calling 608.241.9789; or writing WPF at 401 North Lawn Ave., Madison, WI 53704-5033.