While it may seem like Sulphur Springs Independent School District administrators are doing a lot more hiring each year, a six year study shows the district’s teacher turnover rate has remained pretty close to the state teacher turnover rate, according to SSISD Assistant Superintendent Rusty Harden.
That’s an average of 86.83 new employees hired annually for a total district staff of about 650, according to the annual SSISD human resources report Harden presented this week to SSISD Board of Trustees.
“That’s everything teachers, police, aides everything,” said Harden, whose job since being appointed assistant superintendent for human resources and support services six years ago has included tracking personnel data.
All staff hired in last 6 years: 84 during the 2014-15 school year, 86 in the 2015-16 school year, 90 in the 2016-17 school year, 82 in the 2017-18 school year, 89 last year and 90 for this school year. Overall, that’s an average of 86.83 hires each year.
This year, the district hired 90 employees, including one librarian, two counsels, two police officers, five office staff, 23 aides and 57 teachers.
“The majority of it every year is going to be teachers, each and every year, and aides also this year. We added a police officer and also we had one that left Lamar that we replaced also,” Harden noted.
The six year average for teachers hired is 59.4 annually for a staff of 350-400, although some years were fewer and others higher.
SSISD hired 54 new teachers in both the 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 school years, 57 this year, 62 teachers in the 20017-18 and 2018-19 school years, and 65 in the 2015-16 school years.
“It’s not too far as much as up and down. We’ve averaged 59.4. That’s kind of where we’ve been, close to 60 or so the last six years. I look at some of this stuff and I remember years and years ago people waited for people to leave teaching jobs, just to have a job. Now, there’s a larger vacancies each year,” Harden said.
That’s below the state averages for teacher turnover rate every year except the 2017-18 school year, the latest year the figures for which the data is available in Texas Academic Performance.
The state teacher turnover rate in the 2014-16 school year was 16.6 percent and SSISD’s was one percent lower. SSISD was just under the state average of 16.5 percent with a 16.4 percent teacher turn over rate in the 2015-16 school year. During the 2016-17 school year, the state average was 16.4, percent, but SSISD’s was more than 2 percent lower at 14.2 percent. SSISD’s teacher turnover rate in the 2017-18 school year, however,was 17.5 percent, nearly a full point above the state teacher turnover rate of 16.6 percent, according to the data presented by Harden.
“We’re just kinda right there where the state is, so it’s not just something locally that’s happening. It’s happening across the state,” said Harden. “That’s just kind of been the trend before that. I’m kind of excited for my daughter because she’s student teaching at Royse City geometry in high school, so that looks pretty good for her. But for us in the summer, we’re always real busy with the hiring.”
Harden said when people erroneously think that school administrators get to relax during the summer, he points out that they stay busy during the summer with the hiring process.