An education advocacy group estimates nearly five-thousand Iowa teachers will not return this fall to the schools where they taught last year — costing the state 50-million dollars.The Washington D-C-based Alliance for Excellent Education studied U.S. Education Department numbers to make the projection. Alliance president Bob Wise says the numbers are staggering, and disheartening. The study estimates two-thousand Iowa teachers will quit the profession altogether, costing the state 20-million in replacement costs, and three-thousand more teachers will transfer to other schools, costing 30-million in recruiting, advertising and incentives to fill the vacancies. Wise, a former governor of West Virginia, says the cost of losing teachers isn’t just in dollars, but to the quality of education students receive. Wise says they’re very concerned about the group that’s leaving the teaching profession entirely, many of whom are new teachers. He says statistics show almost half of all teachers leave the profession within the first five years of entering it. He says pairing new teachers with experienced teachers as mentors can help. Wise says “Iowa is one of only four states in the country that has a two-year mentoring program, which we highly recommend. Iowa also has professional development so Iowa is taking some steps to deal with this.” For more information about the Alliance for Excellent Education, surf to “www.all4ed.org”.
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