Understanding Teacher Well-Being and Retention in 2024

Teachers are twice as likely to experience job-related stress and burnout than their peers in other professions


In 2024, the RAND Corporation's "State of the American Teacher" survey offers a sobering look at the well-being and retention intentions of K-12 teachers across the United States. This year's survey, conducted with over 1,400 teachers, highlights the persistent challenges educators face and underscores the critical need for systemic changes to support the teaching profession. This blog will discuss the national survey findings and what they mean for Duval County.

Key Findings on Teacher Well-Being 

The survey reveals that teachers continue to experience significantly higher levels of job-related stress and burnout compared to their peers in other professions. In January 2024, approximately twice as many teachers reported frequent job-related stress or burnout, and about three times as many struggled to cope with this stress compared to similar working adults​​. Major sources of this stress include managing student behavior, low salaries, and extensive administrative duties outside of classroom teaching​​.

Female teachers, in particular, reported higher rates of stress and burnout than their male counterparts. This trend has been consistent since 2021. On average, teachers worked nine hours more per week than similar working adults, yet earned about $18,000 less annually​​.

Job Satisfaction and Pay Adequacy

Only 46% of teachers were satisfied with their working hours, compared to 68% of their peers in other professions. Furthermore, just 36% considered their base pay adequate, while 51% of similar working adults felt their pay was sufficient​​. Teachers indicated that a $16,000 increase in base pay would be needed to make their salaries feel adequate​​.

Intentions to Leave

The report also highlights that teachers are just as likely as other professionals to consider leaving their jobs. Black teachers, in particular, reported lower levels of job-related stress compared to White teachers but were significantly more likely to intend to leave their jobs. They also worked more hours on average and were less satisfied with their working conditions and base pay​​.

Survey information gathered by JPEF this year from current Black and Latino educators in Duval County reflect similar insights with respondents indicating compensation, class sizes, and lack of broader support from the district and state make it difficult for them to stay in the profession. Despite these daily challenges, the majority (67%) of responding teachers want to continue working in DCPS for the next five years, which reflects the strength and resilience of DCPS educators in the face of a historic teacher shortage. For the 20% of on the fence respondents, “things are going to have to change.”
Implications for Policymakers

High teacher turnover has been linked to negative impacts on students' educational achievement and tends to be higher in schools that serve greater numbers of students from historically marginalized economic and racial backgrounds. In Duval County where over 50% of students are labeled as economically disadvantaged, these findings are especially relevant and suggest that improving teacher retention requires more than just salary increases.

Policymakers need to address the broader working conditions that contribute to teacher stress and burnout. This requires supporting teachers in ways that make meaningful differences in their daily lives, including managing administrative workloads, supporting behavior management strategies in the classroom, and ensuring fair compensation that reflects the hours and emotional labor teachers invest in their jobs.

The 2024 survey serves as a crucial call to action for educational leaders and policymakers to take comprehensive steps to improve the working lives of teachers, thereby enhancing the overall quality and stability of the educational system, and quality of education provided to all students.

For more detailed insights, you can access the full report by the RAND Corporation here​​.




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.