K-12 teacher shortage crisis

TCCC CEO John C. Read, second from left, spoke during a panel discussion about the S.C. teacher shortage.

An important discussion was held today on the teacher shortage crisis in South Carolina, and TCCC CEO John C. Read was honored to be a part of it.

The Zucker Family School of Education at The Citadel hosted a public educational leadership and innovation forum to discuss the high number of unfilled teaching positions in the state.

The number of teachers leaving their positions each year (6,500 in 2016) is significantly higher than the number of S.C. graduates of teacher programs available to fill them (1,700 in 2016). Enrollment in S.C. teacher training programs is declining on average by 4% per year.

Of the nearly 6,500 teachers who did not return to their positions:

  • 25% took a teaching position in another S.C. district or special school;
  • 23% percent left because of a personal choice;
  • 18% retired;
  • 12% moved out of the area;
  • 5% changed professions altogether;
  • 5% took a teaching position out of the state or country;
  • and 4% were terminated or their contracts/letters of agreement were not renewed.

Additionally, 38% of the 6,500 teachers who did not return had five or fewer years of classroom experience.

High teacher turnover creates a continuous state of rebuilding in schools, often diminishing the collaboration and cohesion needed to build a sense of community. In addition, the constant process of hiring and replacing teachers consumes an inordinate amount of districts’ capital – both human and financial.

Unless corrective action is taken, the failure to attract and retain great teachers will significantly compromise the education attainment of our children, the fiscal health of our communities and our collective capacity to attract new jobs and families to our state.

HSGN Guiding Team meets at Boeing

On Thursday, our High School Graduation Network’s Guiding Team met for the first time since The Boeing Company became the network’s new Convener.

Special thanks to all of the Guiding Team members who are devoting time to do this work! We’re looking forward to moving the needle and ensuring every child in the tri-county region graduates from high school prepared for either further education or a career in the modern workforce.

Open House at Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood

We’d like to thank everyone who came out Tuesday night to the Open House at Meeting Street Elementary @ Brentwood!

This is a free, public neighborhood school made possible through a public-private partnership between Charleston County School District and Meeting Street Schools.

Opened in 2014 to grades Pre-K3 through third, it has grown by a grade each year and in 2018 will serve more than 600 students in Pre-K3 through fifth grade.

The school is open to all families in the district-drawn attendance zone and primarily serves those from under-resourced households. Its students significantly outperform those of similar backgrounds in surrounding schools.

Reading by Third

Trident United Way held a press conference today to announce its Reading by Third initiative, and Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative CEO John C. Read was invited to speak.

The Reading by Third initiative is a partnership between Trident United Way and the four local school districts that will provide innovative teacher training, which is conducted by the University of Florida Lastinger Center in an effort to raise rates of reading proficiency among early readers.

Approximately 246 educators, including 70 from Charleston County School District and 176 from Berkeley County School District, Dorchester School District 2 and Dorchester School District 4, attended training with instructors from the Lastinger Center over the summer and will be employing new instructional models throughout the 2017-2018 school year.

Reading at grade level by the end of third grade is a leading indicator of high school graduation and later academic success. In 2016, only 52% of third graders in the tri-county region were reading at grade level by the end of the school year, according to TCCC’s most recent education report.

Trident United Way will provide funding for up to $1.5 million over the next three years to implement the program in the tri-county region.