Filling and retaining support staff positions in the state’s largest school district is getting tougher. The retention rate for support staff employed by Springfield Public Schools dropped to 83.45 percent for the 2017-18 school year, down from 87.5 percent two years earlier.
Turnover for bus drivers, food service workers and teaching assistants has been particularly high, at over 20 percent, according to a mid-December update.
The district pays higher than minimum wages for the positions, but the unemployment rate in Springfield continues to decrease, and it was lower than the Missouri average in October 2018.
The district’s superintendent, John Jungmann, said the community is almost at full employment, which he said makes it harder to compete in the market.
Pay and benefits are among factors that the district is looking into to devise solutions for the turnover.
Retaining teachers and administrators hasn’t been much of a worry for the district, though. For three years, the retention rate for these employees has stayed at or above 90 percent.
Read more: Springfield News-Leader