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There have long been anecdotal reports that some Maine districts have difficulty filling vacancies and retaining teachers. This is a common lament for schools in rural areas, and for schools across the state in hiring teachers for certain subject areas-namely math, science, special education, and foreign languages. Current policy initiatives in Maine such as the push for proficiency-based high school diplomas are raising the stakes for schools to employ high-quality teachers in all content areas. There is a concern that schools facing persistent teacher shortages may struggle to provide a comprehensive educational program, resulting in inequitable learning opportunities for their students. To further investigate the empirical evidence behind these anecdotal reports, the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs commissioned this study of the Maine Education Policy Research Institute as part of its 2017-18 work plan. This report addresses the following questions: (1) Teacher profiles: what are the age, experience and education profiles of Maine' teachers overall, and how do school-level teacher profiles vary by school size, poverty level, and rurality? (2) What are Maine's state wide teacher retention and turnover rates? How has turnover changed overtime? (3) Do school retention and turnover rates vary by school characteristics (size, poverty level, locale, average salary and teacher demographic profile)? (4) Who stays and who leaves: what factors (individual, job-related, or school) are associated with teacher retention and turnover? (5) Who moves: what are the changes in salary and other work conditions (salary, school type, etc.) associated with job-to-job moves? Findings are summarized with respect to implications for Maine policy and practice, with a particular emphasis on current policy questions in the 128th Legislative Session. While Maine's overall turnover rates were lower than the national average, they nonetheless present an ongoing challenge for schools. Several of the report conclusions lead to areas for potential policy interventions as well as questions for possible further exploration. Policy implications are categorized and provided in the report according to their area of challenge. [This report was published by the Maine Education Policy Research Institute in the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation (CEPARE).]


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