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Principal Retention

photo of a school building entrance

As educational entities are struggling to recruit and retain staff, a recent survey by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that over one in 10 public school principals left the profession between the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years.

The Data

Education Week reported on the findings this week, sharing that 11.2 percent of public school principals left education. Although this is an increase from the most recent survey, it is consistent with trends over time.

Other data reported in the survey include:

  • More experienced principals, those with 10 or more years of experience, left at higher rates than those with less than three years of experience.
  • Principals over 55 years old left their jobs at a rate of 20 percent.
  • Schools with 75 percent or more students of color had the highest rate of principals moving to new schools at 7.1 percent.
  • Thirty-five (35) percent of principals reported a decrease in enthusiasm for their job.
  • Eighteen (18) percent shared that they think about transferring to another school.

Addressing the Issues

Although teacher turnover and teacher shortages are receiving more national attention, principal turnover also is disruptive to student learning and can exacerbate teacher retention challenges. Acknowledging principal turnover and taking steps for improvement are recommended as we enter the next school year.

The following resources from HR Services are available:

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TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
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