DeSoto County officials say teacher turnover rate is down

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) - The turnover rate of teachers in the DeSoto County school system dropped last year and officials say all teaching and other positions have been filled for the new school year except a few specialized positions.

Education Superintendent Milton Kuykendall made getting the teacher turnover rate below ten percent a goal since his election in 2003.

The loss of teachers from retirements, resignations and dismissals -- at one time 15% or higher -- was over ten percent in the 2004-2005 school year and 13 percent the previous year. It's now around eight percent.

Officials say several factors apparently played a part in reducing the turnover rate, including an overall effort to consider the views of teachers and involve them in decision-making.

Enrollment in the district is expected to increase by 1,700 to 1,900 students in the fall, pushing the district's total enrollment this year to about 29,000 students.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)