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Project: Educator Engagement on Teacher Recruitment, Retention, and Recovery in Louisiana

The Region 14 Comprehensive Center supported the Louisiana Department of Education and Board of Regents’ Teacher Recruitment, Retention, and Recovery Task Force. The program solicited and analyzed educator feedback on conditions that contribute to teacher recruitment, retention, and recovery. This work influenced the task force’s report and recommendations to the Louisiana Legislature to address the statewide teacher shortage.

The Need

Consistent with national data, Louisiana faces a teacher shortage. In 2022, Louisiana had 1,145 vacant teaching positions across the state, which resulted in classrooms staffed with unqualified and often uncertified teachers. In the 2021-2022 school year, 18% of public and charter school teachers were uncertified and 14% were teaching out-of-field. The Teacher Recruitment, Recovery, and Retention Task Force was created in 2021 following the House Concurrent Resolution No. 39 (HCR 39) of the 2021 Regular Legislative Session.

The Task Force was charged to study the declining enrollment in educator preparation programs as well as the attrition of teachers in the classroom. The Task Force was designed to build and sustain an effective workforce of prepared teachers. Through improved policy as well as targeted strategies and best practices, the state, individual school districts, and educator preparation programs can increase rates of employment and teacher retention.

Our Approach

Through a survey and statewide listening sessions with educators, the Louisiana Department of Education and the Board of Regents, in partnership with the Region 14 Comprehensive Center, identified barriers to teacher recruitment, recovery, and retention.

Teacher Survey

As part of the task force’s root cause analysis, LDOE asked the Region 14 Comprehensive Center to develop and deploy a survey to gain insight on how teachers across the state feel about the profession. 7,048 teachers completed the survey, which represented more than 13% of the teaching workforce in Louisiana.

Listening Sessions

LDOE and the Board of Regents also wanted information from groups with a vested interest in the success of the teacher workforce. Region 14 planned and facilitated 17 listening sessions with teachers, school leaders, family and community members, and the Louisiana Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (LACTE). Each group provided critical feedback and insight about the teacher shortage.

Summary Report

Region 14 drafted a summary report with the methods, results, and key findings from the survey results and listening sessions. LDOE and the Board of Regents shared the report with the task force and the information was incorporated in the task force’s 2022 report.

Advancing Forward

Region 14 Comprehensive Center concluded this work in December 2022 and continues to offer support to LDOE as needs arise.