University of Alaska sets goal to improve teacher retention

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The University of Alaska wants to address public school teacher turnover with more locally educated educators.

    President Jim Johnsen has set a goal for 90 percent of all new teacher hires to have graduated from the university by 2025. The current rate is 43 percent.

    According to The Associated Press, Alaska College of Education dean Steve Atwater says Alaska-prepared teachers stay longer.

    A university reports says that between 2004 and 2014, district-level teacher turnover in rural Alaska averaged 20 percent annually. About a dozen districts experienced annual turnover higher than 30 percent.

    The university is focusing on public awareness and outreach, a statewide mentoring program to support teachers who are already working in Alaska and an outreach program to encourage young students to enter the profession.

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