Philadelphia teachers leaving classrooms at highest rate in Pennsylvania, study shows

Philadelphia school teachers are leaving the profession at the highest rate in Pennsylvania, according to a new study by Penn State University. 

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan acknowledged the report in an interview with FOX 29, and blamed the trend on a lack of resources, support, pay, and COVID concerns. 

"Teachers throw their hands up and leave," Jordan said. "The conditions that teachers are working under is why many are leaving."

It's not just a trend in Philadelphia. The report also found the teacher attrition rate across the state grew faster in the 2022-2023 school year and hit its highest point in a decade. 

What's worse, the study also found that luring new teachers is also a struggle. Jordan says prospective educators are scared off by student debt and a low salary. 

"Why would they want to go into such a profession and end up with student debt and a low salary as well," Jordan said. 

State lawmakers are reviewing ways to coax young professionals to pursue professions in education, including stipends and tax credit.

"When teachers are successful, they're going to stay. When teachers are happy, they're going to stay," Jordan said. "And teachers need to have a say in what happens in the workplace."

Meanwhile, the School District of Philadelphia says their retention rate is 90% across the district, and more than two dozen schools give retention bonuses. 

"We’re taking steps to recruit and retain, make working for SDP as favorable as possible," School District of Philadelphia Spokesperson Monique Braxton said.