Most educators in the Cobb County schools plan to return next year

Most Cobb educators signed contracts to return to their jobs in the next school year. (File photo)

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Most Cobb educators signed contracts to return to their jobs in the next school year. (File photo)

Almost all educators in Georgia’s second-largest school district plan to return for the next academic year, officials recently announced.

The Cobb County School District sent 8,290 contracts out to eligible employees, a spokeswoman said, and 98% were signed. That number includes full-time teachers, counselors, psychologists, administrators and certificated district-level employees, according to the district.

The high retention rate comes at a time when teachers across the country are questioning whether they can stay in the profession due to salaries, stresses from the pandemic and other demands, according to studies.

“The numbers speak for themselves and reflect appreciation and gratitude of our employees,” said Keeli Bowen, the district’s chief human resources officer, in a news release.

The district’s website lists about 50 vacancies for administrative or certified positions, like teachers and principals, as of Thursday.

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Despite national reports of a pandemic-fueled teacher shortage, that wasn’t in most metro Atlanta school districts, including Cobb.

The 164 employees who did not return contracts this year were those planning to retire or resign, a district spokeswoman said.