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Retirement Patterns of California Prekindergarten-Grade 12 Educators

By Tony Fong, Reino Makkonen


How have the recent economic recession and the aging of the baby boomer population affected retirement rates in California’s public school system?

This Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) study examines the retirement patterns of California’s preK-12 certificated educators — including teachers, speech therapists, and school administrators — and provides useful workforce data for education leaders in the state.

The authors based their study on more than a decade of data from the California State Teacher’s Retirement System, district-level financial data from the California Department of Education, and annual county-level unemployment rates from the California Employment Development Department.

Some key findings:

  • The percentage of educators over age 60 doubled between the 1995/96 and 2009/10 school years
  • The percentage of educators working in the California public school system after retirement increased steadily, from 3 percent in the 1995/96 school year to more than 11 percent in the 2007/08–2009/10 school years
  • On average, a $1,000 reduction in a district’s “other local revenue” per student was associated with approximately a 4 percent higher probability of educators retiring

A short summary of the report is also available.

Please visit REL West for more information on REL West. Information about the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) system and other REL publications can be found at the national Regional Educational Laboratory Program.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2012
Format: PDF
Pages: 25
Publisher: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences