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Visualizing Washington's Teacher Workforce
Understanding the trends impacting teacher recruitment and retention

Teacher recruitment and retention is a complex issue. This project uses maps and publicly available data to visualize some of the challenges school districts in Washington are facing as they strive to recruit, train, and retain a diverse and skilled teaching force that reflects the racial/ethnic and linguistic diversity of the state’s students—and is responsive to their learning needs.

This project explores eight topic areas that illustrate the large trends impacting Washington’s teaching workforce. The maps are designed to help identify districts that may benefit from additional support. In addition, they may help uncover opportunities for districts to work together to address two interrelated challenges:

1. Hiring and retaining teachers

Some districts have more beginning teachers than others, meaning that they might need to invest more in supporting teachers while they learn their craft. These districts often have related challenges, such as higher turnover rates or a growing student population.

2. Building a workforce that meets students’ needs

Finding and keeping teachers who have the skills, backgrounds, and credentials to meet students’ needs can pose challenges for all school and district leaders, regardless of local context and student demographics. Those variations do matter, however, and they result in different staffing challenges across Washington.

Explore the Maps

Teacher Turnover

What percentage of teachers continued teaching in their district from the prior school year? What percentage left for another district or left teaching in Washington state?

Beginning Teachers

What percentage of teachers is in their first year across the state? How has this changed over time?

Teacher Salaries

How do salaries for beginning teachers vary across the state? How much does TRI pay (pay for additional time, responsibilities, and incentives, as funded by local levies) contribute to variation in beginning teachers’ salaries?

Racial/Ethnic Diversity

How similar is the racial/ethnic composition of Washington’s teacher workforce to that of its student population?

Student Poverty

How does the concentration of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch vary across the state? Is there a relationship between student poverty and the composition of a district’s teacher workforce?

Student Achievement

How does student achievement vary across the state and across time? What are the relationships between student achievement and the characteristics of a district’s teachers?

English Learner Education

Which areas in Washington have the highest numbers and percentages of English learner and migrant students? Do these areas have equitable numbers of English language development teachers?

Special Education

How does the percentage of students eligible for special education vary across Washington? Are the numbers of special education students per special education teacher equitable across the state?

Data Details: Learn more about the data used to develop this website, definitions of key variables, and the analytic methodologies used to produce the maps.


REL Northwest is partnering with state, district, and higher education leaders to understand and find solutions to Washington’s teacher shortage through the Washington State Vibrant Teaching Force Alliance. This partnership is focused on developing strategies to recruit, train, and retain a diverse and skilled teaching force that reflects the racial/ethnic and linguistic diversity of Washington’s students—and is responsive to their learning needs.