Projecting California Teacher Retirements Over the Next Decade
With more baby boomer teachers reaching retirement age, states and districts are considering how their retirements will impact the workforce. This new study projects that 25 percent of teachers who were teaching in the state in 2013-14 will retire by 2023-24. The study projects similar statewide retirement rates (23–26 percent) for math, science, English language arts, history, special education, and elementary school teachers.
However, projected teacher retirements vary considerably across California's 58 counties. Higher retirement rates are projected for rural counties, especially along the state's northern coast and near the state’s northern and eastern borders, and lower retirement rates are projected in and around metropolitan areas such as San Francisco, Sacramento, Orange County/Los Angeles, and Fresno.
With research showing that graduates of teacher preparation programs tend to prefer staying close to their hometown, careful local workforce planning will be essential, particularly in counties projected to experience high rates of teacher retirement. For instance, county offices of education and school districts in projected high-retirement counties could collaborate with local teacher credential programs to determine whether the supply of teachers in the region is likely to meet the workforce needs in the coming years and, if not, to develop recruitment and retention strategies. The study’s methodology may also be useful for districts as they work to make projections about their teacher workforces in the coming years.