Salary boost attracts, retains teachers in Wyoming

CASPER, WY – A report says higher salaries have made a difference in recruiting and retaining new teachers in Wyoming, but didn't have an effect on teacher quality.

Seven out of every 10 new hires with bachelor's degrees in 2009 came from outside Wyoming. Compare that to about 55 percent in 2005, the year before base pay for first-year teachers increased by about $10,000.

Also, exit rates for new teachers in Wyoming are now the nation's lowest.

State lawmakers requested information about teachers' educational backgrounds this year to determine whether the hike resulted in more highly qualified hires.

Study author Christiana Stoddard says the report doesn't mean salaries won't make a difference in the future, but at the moment there hasn't been much change in teacher quality.