TYLER, TX (KETK) — Across East Texas, the number of teachers who changed school districts in 2013 largely increased from the year prior. The main concern here is a lack of experienced teachers.
The teacher retention rate during 2012 to 2013 for the state of Texas, is 15.3 percent. School districts Longview, Pine Tree, Spring Hill, Sabine, Overton, Marshall, Spring Hill, Gladewater, Henderson, Glad County, Gilmer, Ore City, and West Rusk County, all exceed this average. The highest turnover rates were in Overton and Marshall with 30.2 percent.
However, not all East Texas school districts are suffering. Districts like White Oak and Hallsville ISD are retaining their teachers, with turnover averages below the state. KETK spoke with White Oak Superintendent Mike Gilbert, who explained these numbers, "It cycles. When you're in a smaller school district where you have 115-119 teachers, if you lose 3 or 4 teachers, each one of those is basically a percentage point". Gilbert believes his success in keeping teachers for years is because, "We've had great success in fine arts, and in athletics and academic competition. I think it's just a place that's kind of fun to be around right now".
Hallsville was the largest school district in the state to maintain a turnover rate below the state average, coming in at 12.2 percent. Carol Greer, the Hallsville ISD Public Relations Director, said, "We've gotten teachers of the year and principles of the year. They're just smart. They're good at what they do and they really care about the district". Greer went on to explain this benefits the community because not only does it eliminate the cost of training new teachers, but it contributes to academic success for all grade levels.
For a full list of East Texas district statistics, visit: http://www.news-journal.com/news/local/teacher-turnover-up-in-many-area-districts/article_196b1690-e74a-52ff-8274-ed8cc088cda9.html  .