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NKY school takes new approach to fighting teacher turnover

NKY school takes new approach to fighting teacher turnover
Posted at 12:36 PM, Dec 03, 2021

GRANT COUNTY, Ky. — Grant County Schools is hoping a new program designed to advance the careers and increase the salaries of its teaching staff will help reduce teacher turnover.

The district had to hire between 35 and 40 new instructors at the start of this year just to keep up with the growing problem.

“COVID has made it worse because there are less people going into education,” Matt Morgan, superintendent of Grant County Schools, said. “We manage every year but you’re constantly going back and retraining every year.”

That training is necessary, Morgan said, because many of the new teacher hires haven’t ever done the job before. The district hopes a new partnership with BloomBoard, a teacher credentialing service, will give incentive for teachers to stay in Grant County rather than move to another district or leave the teaching profession entirely.

“We thought this would be a way for us to keep teachers here for a while and get some stability for our kids,” Morgan said.

Grant County Schools will cover the cost of the BloomBoard program in exchange for a commitment from staff to stay for four years after completing the training. In Kentucky, teachers who successfully finish this process through BloomBoard are able to move up the state’s rank system. That translates into a higher salary and offers additional career opportunities.

“Anytime that your employer is willing to devote time, resources and funds for your development, you can’t pass that up,” Sam Ryan, a math and business teacher at Grant County High School, said. “That’s awesome.”

BloomBoard’s founder said more needs to be done to support teachers and keep them in the profession.

“Especially given the pandemic, I think everyone now appreciates how hard teaching can be and how hard it is,” Jason Lange, President of BloomBoard, said. “The reality is we just don’t pay teachers enough relative to what they’re actually doing and the lift and their importance in society.”

In addition to offering advancement opportunities and better pay for teachers, the district also expects this credentialing process to make its staff more effective in the classroom.

“I saw it as a win-win,” Morgan said. “We get a better teacher. The teacher gets a pay increase when they complete it. Our kids get somebody in the classroom stable for the next six years.”

“Anything that I gain from this program will make its way to the student,” Ryan said.

Grant County Schools expects to officially roll out the program in January.

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