Reciprocity and Recruitment - Mobility in the Teacher Workforce

Posted By: Sue "Ze" Anderson-Brown AASPA Blog ,
The implication of state-set boundaries for the validity of teaching licenses creates natural barriers for any teacher who wishes to consider moving across state lines. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, eighty-three percent of all teachers teach in the same school they taught in the year before, this leaves only seventeen percent of all other teachers being considered as a potential "New Hire." Reciprocity can be a complicated subject, especially for a receiving school district. 
AASPA's Legislative and Governmental Committee has been focusing on the potential unification of Teachers' license reciprocity. This winter, a Reciprocity and Recruitment Survey was sent out to the AASPA membership.  The committee received 73 responses to the survey.  Three responding states equaled seventy-one percent (71%) of all responses. Illinois held the largest percentage, thirty-two (32.88%) or 24 respondents, followed by Missouri with twenty-three (23.29%) or 17 respondents Followed by Arizona with fifteen percent (15%) or 11 respondents.  
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The survey asked Respondents, What percentage of out-of-state teachers applied for a position in the Respondent's district for the 2019-2020 school year? Of all respondents, forty-eight percent (48%) report "under ten percent" (10%). Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Respondents reported out of state applications of ten to thirty percent (10%-30%), while eleven percent (11%) report thirty-one to fifty percent (30%-50%), and three (3%) of Respondents reported receiving over fifty percent (50%) of their out-of-state applications.    
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In addition, the survey asked Respondents, What percentage of out-of-state teachers were hired for positions in  The Respondent's district for the 2019-2020 school year? Of all Respondents, fifty-six percent (56%) reported "under ten percent" (10%).Thirty-six percent (36%) of Respondents reported out of state teacher hires at ten to thirty percent (10%-30%), while only four percent (4%) of Respondents reported
thirty-one to fifty percent (30%-50%) hire rate, which also tied with Respondent reporting four percent (4%) of Respondents reported receiving over fifty percent (50%) of their hires from out-of-state teachers.    
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The survey also drilled down into the hired out-of-state teachers by asking, Was any of the Respondent's out-of-state hires a diverse candidate?  Of all the Respondents, forty-eight percent (48%) reported that their out-of-state hires were diverse, while thirty-eight percent (38%) reported their out-of-state hires were not diverse teachers. The remaining fourteen percent (14%) indicated other reasons or no answers to the question.  
Sixty-four percent (64%) of the Respondents provided their thoughts on reciprocity related to their ability to recruit, hire, and retain licensed teachers in their districts.  Some Respondents stated that they relied on reciprocity to recruit staff. Other Respondents stated that universal reciprocity would help with recruiting and would also support Teachers with an easier transition if they elect to move to another state. Finally, multiply Respondents stated that reciprocity is critically important when seeking a diverse staff. The action items taken away from this survey is that there is work to be done to move this indicative forward by having AASPA focus its advocacy work towards improving a universal system.