• Teachers and Leaders

In our previous report, Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi, we explained how the rising cost of college attendance and the declining value of teaching salaries may be squeezing aspiring new teachers out of the pipeline. To build on that analysis, we surveyed 6,496 Mississippi teachers to establish the state’s most comprehensive resource for understanding the critical teacher shortage in Mississippi from teachers’ perspectives.

Major Takeaways

Finding #1

Over half of teachers surveyed report being likely to leave their Mississippi classroom within the next year.

Finding #2

Compensation is by far the most important factor in career plans for surveyed teachers—especially those likely to leave.

Finding #3

Low pay is forcing many teachers to
forgo basic necessities, take second jobs, and/
or rely on government assistance.

Finding #4

Teachers who are struggling
financially are much more likely to leave the
classroom within the next year.

Finding #5

Teachers strongly prefer well-
funded compensation strategies, rather than
any particular type of strategy.


Toren Ballard

Director of K-12 Policy

Toren Ballard is the Director of K-12 Policy at Mississippi First and is a co-author of Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi and the 2020 release of Public Perception of Charter Schools in Mississippi.

Rachel Canter

Executive Director

Rachel Canter is the Executive Director of Mississippi First and author of all Mississippi First reports, including Leaving Last in Line, the State of Pre-K series, and Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi. Rachel founded Mississippi First in 2008.