By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s educators are just days away from the coveted summer break, and when some of them leave campus, they won’t be coming back. Teacher retention rates are decreasing in schools statewide.

U.S. Census data show the majority of educators who leave for another job are between 25-34 years old. In Minnesota, the number of teachers leaving their classrooms has increased 34 percent since 2008-2009, for what most list as “personal reasons.”

Education Minnesota president Denise Specht doesn’t believe it’s a licensure issue. The number of full-time teachers has increased by almost 6 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Education.

Specht says the numbers just show not enough teachers want to use their licenses to teach.

“It’s like pouring water into a leaky bucket,” said Specht. “You can continue to concentrate on getting people into the profession, but if we’re not addressing the things that are driving them out of the profession, we’re going to continue to have this churn.”

Specht cited teachers’ financial problems as a contributing factor, saying some people leave college with a degree and presumably some debt have learned they can make more money in other professions.

However she also says the work load has changed, as more teachers add on the role of counselor or administrator in higher class sizes and longer hours.

Christiane Cordero