CONCORD, N.H. — A new report from the state Legislature looks at New Hampshire’s teacher shortage and outlines how the state could fix the problem.
Here are five things to know.
- The top factors driving the teacher shortage are stress and burnout, as well as student behavior and discipline, school culture, and low salaries, the report found.
- A new teacher typically earns around $40,500 per year, while the report found the average cost of living in New Hampshire is nearly $57,000. And the housing shortage sometimes prevents a teacher from taking a job if they can’t find a place to live.
- Districts compete for qualified teachers, and districts that have higher property taxes are more able to attract qualified candidates because they can offer more competitive salaries.
- Personal safety is a concern for some teachers, who don’t feel they have received sufficient de-escalation training.
- The state’s political climate impacts teachers, who report feeling stressed about bills being passed and discussed in the State House. The report found that as teaching becomes more politicized, it has discouraged people from entering the profession.
The report recommended introducing legislation to pay teachers competitively, as well as looking at student loan forgiveness, and subsidizing affordable housing. It suggested that the state give more education funding to smaller districts to help them retain teachers.
A draft of the report recommended repealing New Hampshire law that “restricts a teacher from teaching difficult and controversial topics,” referring to the so-called divisive concepts law the state passed in 2021, but that recommendation was walked back before the report was finalized. Teachers and public school advocates had pushed for that change earlier this year.
The final draft is due by Nov. 1.
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