Recruiting and retaining qualified public school teachers plays a significant role in school quality and student success. While teacher shortages have been amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri public schools have consistently experienced challenges hiring and retaining qualified teachers.
Students in rural, high-poverty, and high-minority schools are most likely to have less experienced teachers and higher teacher turnover rates. Salary is consistently reported by teachers, students and administrators to be the primary barrier to teacher recruitment and retention.
Missouri teacher salaries consistently rank among the lowest in the United States, including in comparisons adjusted for cost of living or to similar professions with similar education requirements.